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SUV driver who ran over MMDA traffic cop charged

/ 06:45 PM December 21, 2014

MANILA, Philippines–The driver of a sport utility vehicle who ran over a traffic constable of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Edsa-Cubao, Quezon City, on Friday morning has been charged with reckless imprudence resulting in serious physical injuries and driving with an expired license.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the MMDA said that the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office filed the criminal complaint against Mark Ian Libunao—the driver of the Isuzu Sportivo—on behalf of traffic constable Sonny Acosta.

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Libunao immediately escaped after running over Acosta but was arrested in San Miguel, Bulacan, on Friday night with the help of the vehicle owner Dante Borguete, said Superintendent Ely Pintang, chief of the Traffic Enforcement Unit of the Quezon City Police District.

According to the MMDA, Quezon City Assistant Prosecutor Corazon Romano recommended a bail bond of P8,000 for the 35-year-old family driver’s provisional release.

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Meanwhile, Acosta has remained in the intensive care unit of a private hospital in Quezon City due to serious head injuries, MMDA Traffic Discipline Office head Cris Saruca said in the agency’s Sunday radio program.

“He is now in an induced coma and there is still no advice on until when he will remain in the hospital. The doctors are still waiting for his condition to stabilize before they operate on his brain,” Saruca added.

In a post on the agency’s Facebook page on Sunday, MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino asked for prayers for the 38-year-old traffic enforcer whose condition has worsened.

“As of 11 a.m. on Dec. 20, MMDA Traffic Constable Sonny Acosta’s health has further deteriorated and [he is] still unconscious. He has a six-month-old baby girl. We need your prayers,” he said.

The police caught Libunao after they traced the Sportivo to Borguete who said that the suspect was the one using the vehicle at the time of the accident.

Based on police reports, the MMDA traffic constable flagged down the suspect’s vehicle at 9:45 p.m. on Friday and asked for his driver’s license after the former spotted the Sportivo on the lane designated for provincial buses.

As Acosta reached out to take Libunao’s license, the driver closed the window of the vehicle and drove off, dragging the enforcer for several meters before running over him.

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“We’re not sure what happened after that. His fellow MMDA traffic enforcers just saw him lying on the ground with blood all over him,” his wife, Richelle, told the police.

With a report from Rima Granali

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TAGS: Corazon Romano, Crime, Ely Pintang, Francis Tolentino, hit and run case, Mark Ian Libunao, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Quezon City Police District, Quezon City Prosecutors’ Office, reckless imprudence, Sonny Acosta, State Prosecutors, TRAFFIC ENFORCER
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