UP professor in road rage files raps vs Bulacan mayor
MANILA, Philippines–“My family is shaken by the brazenness of these men,” Inquirer publisher Raul Pangalangan said, shaking his head.
Those men gave his family—wife Elizabeth, son Miguel Enrico, 21, daughter-in-law Trizha O. Pangalangan and two granddaughters age 6 and 5 and their two nannies—a shock in a road rage incident in Quezon City on Monday morning, he said.
Elizabeth, a law professor at the University of the Philippines, said she was sitting in the front passenger seat beside her son in the family vehicle when the incident happened.
After learning the identities of the owners of the vehicles the men used, Elizabeth Pangalangan filed a complaint in the National Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday against Bulacan Mayor Patrick Meneses and his mother over the incident that she said left her family traumatized.
The complainant is also the director of the Institute of Human Rights at the UP Law Center.
Meneses is better known today as the partner of actress Ara Mina. He used to be with another actress, Aiko Melendez.
NBI Director Virgilio Mendez said he had assigned a division to investigate the incident following the filing of the complaint. “I will assign a team to conduct an investigation based on the complaint,” Mendez told the Inquirer in an interview at his office on Wednesday.
Mendez said Meneses and his security men and those named in the complaint would be invited to give their side of the incident.
The others named in the complaint were the mother of Meneses, Priscila, who is the listed owner of one of two vehicles involved in the incident, a silver Innova with Plate No. ZEL 124; one Joel Piñon; and several John Does.
Elizabeth said she filed a complaint because Meneses’ mother refused to identify the men in the two vehicles that she and her family encountered on Congressional Avenue Extension on Monday morning. She said one of the men pointed a gun at her and her family.
An initial police investigation showed that the man with a gun was from the Innova.
In a visit to the Inquirer on Tuesday night to talk to publisher Pangalangan, Priscila said her family owned the Innova and the other vehicle involved in the incident, a Land Cruiser. She said, however, that she was not in one of the vehicles and that no security men were traveling in them.
She said her son Patrick, mayor of Bulacan town, Bulacan province, should be spared because he was at the municipal hall at the time of the incident.
She identified the driver of the Innova as Joel Piñon.
She also denied that her son was on board the Land Cruiser when the incident happened. “My son was not on board the vehicle and the convoy was on a personal errand when the supposed encounter took place,” she said.
Priscila said the reported plate number of the Land Cruiser was wrong. “It was not the plate number of our Land Cruiser,” she said.
In her complaint, Elizabeth said she and her family were traveling on Congressional Avenue Extension in their vehicle, a Fortuner, on their way to Himlayang Pilipino on Monday morning when a “big white” Land Cruiser with Plate No. PQS 904 moved into their lane to overtake them, nearly hitting their vehicle.
She said she told her 21-year-old son, who was driving the vehicle, to move to the other lane to avoid the “reckless” Land Cruiser. With her in the vehicle were her daughter-in-law and two small grandchildren and their nannies.
According to Land Transportation Office records, the Land Cruiser is registered to Mactan Construction Supply, a company with offices on N. Domingo Street in San Juan City.
The Land Cruiser overtook the Pangalangans’ vehicle a second time and it was then that Elizabeth noticed the silver Innova following and realized that it was an escort vehicle.
“At that stage, I noticed that a silver Innova was following us closely. The Innova swerved into our lane and almost forced us off the road and onto the sidewalk,” she said.
The Innova drove alongside the Fortuner and a male passenger rolled down his window and began hurling invectives at the UP professor’s son.
“Then the front passenger window of the silver Innova opened and a man started shouting invectives at our car and pointing his finger and repeatedly shouting invectives,” Elizabeth said.
“Can’t you see that we’re escorting someone? P***** ina ninyo, Tumabi kayo,” she quoted the man as saying.
The Innova then picked up speed and cut the path of the Fortuner. Then the man got off the Innova with a drawn gun and pointed it at them, Elizabeth said.
Elizabeth said that when she saw the gun, she yelled at the man that she had children on board.
The man backed off and returned to his vehicle.
The Innova then sped off.
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