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Driver believed to have started Skyway crash faces criminal raps


MANILA, Philippines—The man held responsible for the death of a Metro Manila policeman and injuries to three others in a road accident on Black Saturday is now facing several criminal complaints.

The suspect, only identified as Baldwin Co, 50, is now facing complaints of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide, multiple physical injuries and damage to property, filed by the Highway Patrol Group at the Paranaque prosecutor’s office on Tuesday morning.

Co was the driver of the speeding black Ford GT Mustang that bumped a Mitsubishi Adventure being driven by Chief Inspector Ferdinand Rosario last March 30 along the Skyway that stretched over the South Luzon Expressway in Sucat, Parañaque.  The policeman died after being thrown off the vehicle.

Rosario, of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Public Safety Battalion, was in the car along with fellow policemen Police Officer 2 Jun Rey Ybañez, Police Officer 1 Nerilito Palima, and Police Officer 1 Andro Manangan, who were tasked to inspect bus marshals during Holy Week, a report from the NCRPO showed.

The policemen’s wagon was traversing the southbound lane of the elevated Skyway near the Sucat toll plaza when Rosario decided to slow down and tried to veer toward the side due to a flat tire.

It was at this point that Co’s vehicle came from behind and ended up crashing into the wagon’s rear end, causing the latter to ram into the center concrete fence and turn turtle. The impact was so great, Rosario was thrown outside the car, a police traffic accident report form showed.

Rosario was declared dead on arrival at the Ospital ng Muntinlupa, although his three other companions survived the ordeal, NCRPO Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina said.

Co and his passenger, reportedly his househelp, were brought to the Asian Hospital and Medical Center also in Muntinlupa city, although they reportedly “escaped” through a back exit before Co could be arrested, Espina said.

On Monday, Espina conferred on Rosario a posthumous award for “efficiency,” and extended financial assistance to his surviving siblings.

“Rosario is a fine member of the police force who should be emulated. Up to the last moment of his life, he was serving the country, by personally leading inspections on bus marshals to ensure the safety of travelers this past Holy Week,” Espina said, in Filipino.

Rosario, 37, was a Pangasinan native and a member of the Philippine National Police (PNP) “Buklod-Diwa” class of 2001. He was set to graduate with a degree in Bachelor of Laws at the Manuel L. Quezon University this year. He was described as a good leader and as approachable by his colleagues, and has earned numerous PNP awards since he started serving the force as a member of the Special Action Force unit in 2001, Espina noted.

Espina ordered policemen to locate Co and asked the Highway Patrol Group to investigate those who helped Co escape from the hospital.

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Tags: Crime , Justice , law , Metro , skyway , vehicular accidents

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