MMDA prepares murder rap vs hit-and-run driver
MANILA, Philippines–From a case of reckless imprudence resulting in serious physical injuries, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said that it would elevate to murder the case filed against the sport utility vehicle (SUV) driver tagged in last month’s death of a traffic enforcer.
During the agency’s Sunday radio program, MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said that the agency would amend the case it filed in the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office against Mark Ian Libunao.
The suspect, who was also charged with having an expired driving license, was behind the wheel of an SUV on Edsa-Cubao, Quezon City, on Dec. 19 when traffic constable Sonny Acosta flagged him down for using the yellow lane reserved for passenger buses.
According to a police investigation, Libunao rolled up his window as Acosta reached in to get his driver’s license, trapping the victim’s hand. The suspect then drove away, dragging the traffic enforcer for several meters before running him over with his vehicle. Libunao then escaped but was arrested after he was identified through the SUV’s license plate.
Acosta lapsed into a coma in a hospital and died four days after the accident due to his injuries.
Aside from the amendment of the criminal case against Libunao, Tolentino said that they would also “file an independent civil action” against him this week to ask for damages since Acosta left behind a wife and three daughters, including a six-month-old baby.
“We will also release the closed circuit television (CCTV) video showing the car driven by Libunao dragging and running over the traffic constable to make the case stronger,” Tolentino added.
Last week, he criticized Libunao who, according to him, continued to deny his involvement in the incident despite the witnesses and evidence incriminating him.
Tolentino said that the suspect showed a disrespect for traffic regulations and even a person in authority. He asked motorists to respect not only traffic enforcers but also pedestrians, other drivers and passengers as well.
News handpicked by our editors
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.