Lawmaker denies owning car involved in Pampanga road rage
Pampanga 1st District Rep. Carmelo “Jon” Lazatin II on Tuesday dismissed claims that he owns the vehicle involved in a road rage incident in Angeles, Pampanga on Sunday.
“Dahil newly elected po ako, wala pa namang na-issue na plaka ang 17th Congress. Kung makikita niyo sa video ang plaka pong ginamit ay 16th Congres, so hindi pa ko representante noon, so makikita po nating wala po talagang kaugnayan sa akin ano mang viral video,” Lazatin said in a press briefing.
(Since I am newly elected, I have not been issued a license plate of the 17th Congress. If you watch the video, the license plate was issued for the 16th Congress, so it’s not mine. We can see here that I have nothing to do with the viral video.)
The driver of a Toyota FJ Cruiser with a special “8” license plate issued to a congressman was reported to have been involved in a heated exchange and fistfight with a fellow motorist along the McArthur Highway in Balibago, Angeles City, Pampanga.
The driver also reportedly claimed that he was the son of a certain congressman.
Lazatin also cleared his father, former congressman Carmelo “Tarzan” Lazatin, whom he said was elected during the 14th and 15th Congress. He said no one from their family was elected during the 16th Congress and that none from their family owns an FJ Cruiser.
The lawmaker also said the driver could not be his 16-year-old son.
He added that the special license plates should be surrendered to the House so the cannot be used in unscrupulous activities.
“‘Iyong mga plaka na invalid na katulad nung sa 16th Congress, dapat sinu-surrender nga po iyon eh, o kaya dapat hindi na dapat gamitin,” Lazatin said.
(Invalid license plates such as those issued for the 16th Congress should be surrendered or they should not be used anymore.)
House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr., meanwhile, said the Land Transportation Office and the Philippine National Police can “act motu proprio” on the incident even without the chamber’s consent.
“Such despicable behavior on the road gives the House a bad name. There is no excuse for that. Hindi amulet or anting-anting ang protocol plate para gumawa ng hindi tama (The protocol plates are not amulets to be used for wrongdoing),” Andaya said in a statement.
Lazatin, who is seeking re-election, also dismissed allegations he was dragging his name into the controversy for political reasons.
“Hindi naman magulo sa amin ang pulitika (Politics is not chaotic in our area),” he said. /ee
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