‘I was spat at… so I punched him,’ says road rage suspect Valerio
Road rage suspect Jojo Serafico Valerio on Thursday night said he punched the driver of the car that nearly hit his sport utility vehicle (SUV) because the latter spat at him.
Valerio, who was driving the SUV bearing the No. 8 license plate reserved for lawmakers and who was caught by security camera punching another driver who turned out to be a nurse, went on air to tell his version of the incident.
Valerio is now facing slight physical injuries case for allegedly assaulting Jesusito Palma, 26, a nurse, between 1:30 a.m. and 2 a.m. on Nov. 11 at Barangay Balibago in Angeles City, police said.
He was arrested on Thursday morning and released later after posting bail. Reports said six of the seven charges filed against him were dropped by the prosecutor.
In the interview by Jobert Sucaldito on DZMM’s Showbuzz, Valerio expressed disappointment that the public only saw the short video in which he was seen punching Palma.
“I was prejudged…,” he deplored and went on to say that the short clip did not tell the whole story.
According to Valerio, that night, after his gig at a casino in Clark, Pampanga, he, his family (wife, four-month-old child, 12-year-old son and two-year-old child) and his three singers decided to look for a place to dine before driving back to Manila.
“When we turned left on a ‘street,’ I saw a car coming …so the tendency was to step on the gas. So I sped on but only to slam the brakes to avoid hitting the car,” he said in Filipino.
Because of the heavy braking, his passengers, including his four-month-old child, were thrown forward.
Valerio said the mother who was holding the kid lost her grip on the child “because of the impact.”
“Noong halos mabangga niya ako, hinabol ko siya… (After the near collision, I gave chase),” Valerio said.
With horns honking, Valerio said he cut Palma off after a two-kilometer chase along MacArthur Highway to force the latter to pull over so he could confront him and say: “Ano problema? (What’s the problem?)”
After a minute, he said: “I got off alone, contradictory to claims I had companions and a bodyguard [during the confrontation].”
“After having a discussion like nagmumurahan na kami, nagmumura din po siya na wala naman siyang sinasabi…dinuraan niya ako,” Valerio said.
(After having a discussion like cursing at each other, he spat at me.)
“I have no intention to punch. I have only the intention to… murahin siya. Kumbaga guguluhin ko siya noong araw na iyon dahil sa gigil na gigil po ako noon eh. Gumulong po ang anak ko, ang buhay ng pasahero ko…tapos nakita ko lasing siya. Sabi nila ako daw ang lasing,” he told the DZMM’s host.
(…to curse him…because I was in a fit of anger. My child was thrown off the seat…the lives of my passengers were endangered…and I saw him drunk. They said it was me who was drunk.)
According to Valerio, Palma can’t deny that he was drunk because his voice was “baliko” or distorted.
“Tapos yung kasama niya tulog na tulog dahil lasing,” he added.
(His companion was asleep in the car because he too was drunk.)
When asked about his No.8 license plate, Valerio explained:
“There was no intention of introducing myself like a congressman or anak ni (son of a) congressman. Unang baba ko (When I got off), Tito (host Sucaldito), unang baba ko walang ako sinasabing [gaya] yung sinasabi po niyang congressman (uttered nothing like to the effect that I was a congressman’s son)…hindi ko kilala (I don’t know that congressman) at kung may gagamitin po naman ako…kung talagang may gagamitin ako, sa pamilya ko ang gagamitin ko dahil kung pamilya ko po, pwede pa akong gumamit ng pamilya ko po…kung sa akin po, kung magna-name drop po talaga ako…”
(If would name-drop, I would use my family name because I can…)
Various reports described Valerio as a son of a retired police official and lawyer in Quezon City and a nephew of a congressman in Metro Manila. The suspect did not give any details about his background. With a report from Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon/ac
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