WELL, as we said in our column previous to this one, we predicted that by the time it comes out in the press the driver of the vehicle that bumped and abandoned dead and injured two motorcycle riders at crossing MacArthur Highway-Tulip Drive, Davao City several days ago would have probably surrendered to the authorities. And he did exactly just that.
We know the reason of course. The driver, or the one who claimed he was, definitely felt threatened by the announcement of former Davao City Mayor and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte that he was offering a P500-thousand reward for anyone who can supply information or document that could lead the authorities to the identity of the driver and the vehicle.
As can be recalled, the statement of the former President was simply worded. But for those who know the man anything that comes out from his mouth if it is addressed to violators of the law, carries with it some kind of veiled threat that the criminals will have to reckon with him if they continue to defy the law.
And so last Wednesday even before our column was set up in the printing press, one man came literally running to the police office and identified himself as the driver of the pick-up vehicle that smashed the motorcycle where young woman Anna Fae Talili was back riding. The motorbike was driven by Talili’s boyfriend who suffered injuries as a result of the road accident.
On the other hand the self-confessed suspect claimed he was the one driving the pick-up owned by the Vice Mayor of Boston town in Davao Oriental. The driver told the police the Vice Mayor was somewhere in Western Visayas when the accident happened and that he did not tell him immediately his vehicle was involved in an accident that killed one and injured another.
When asked why he just abandoned the victims he claimed he was too afraid of what might happened to him. But there was something about the confession of the driver. That is, how come he did not immediately inform the Vice Mayor of the accident involving his (the vice mayor’s) vehicle. And how come that after the Vice Mayor knew of the incident he did not order his driver to surrender and turn over the vehicle to the authorities? In other words, the vice mayor, the second highest official in the Municipality of Boston, was clearly condoning the act of his driver.
On the other hand, was the self-confessed driver escapee really the one driving the vehicle? Is he not made the fall guy? Let the investigators be reminded that the driver claimed his boss was in a Western Visayas Province and when informed of the incident he did not immediately ordered his driver to surrender and bring his pick-up to the police. He could have easily done it by simply ordering his driver to surrender through his mobile phone. But he did not. Instead he allowed the driver of his vehicle to hide it in the garage of his rented house somewhere in Matina.
Well, the investigators can easily validate the claim of the driver. All the probers have to do is check with the airline companies where he could have purchased his ticket and when the Vice Mayor flew to his destination and back.
No, we are not saying it was the Vice Mayor who was driving the vehicle. We are only trying to establish the culpability of the town official as regards his apparent condonation of the act of his driver.
And this driver of the vice mayor must be somebody in the latter’s family. Imagine, an employee of the Vice Mayor who could be receiving his pay from the local government of Boston wantonly using what could be a private property of the second highest official of the municipality!
This development however, saddens us because the investigators were unable to secure any positive lead as to the identity of the driver and the vehicle until the offer of a 500 thousand pesos reward by the former President.
We hope that with the driver’s surrender the cases reported filed against him, and possibly against the Vice Mayor for condoning a criminal act, will be deliberated by the city prosecutor’s office and eventually filed in court. It is only in that manner that the victims’ families can feel that justice is accorded them.
Now we know that many Filipinos are now willing to participate in electoral processes. What with a good number of 1st time voters, transferees, and return voters registering with the Commission on Elections at the end of deadline day last January 31.
In the Davao Region alone, according to COMELEC officials, over 131 thousand have themselves registered as voters who will be added to the existing ones from the start of the listing until the last hour of deadline day.
It is indeed a welcome development. And without doubt it is an indication that the people already know how important their role as voters in determining who the future leaders of this country should be.
We can only hope that such enthusiasm will be sustained by the time the people will vote for their barangay leaders including those who’ll be offering themselves to lead the young people.
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