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Fundraiser, ‘sympathy ride’ for Tanto victims

Malou Garalde (left), mother of road rage victim Mark Vincent Garalde, and his widow Rei (right) are comforted by a member of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption at the Manila Police District headquarters on Saturday. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

Malou Garalde (left), mother of road rage victim Mark Vincent Garalde, and his widow Rei (right) are comforted by a member of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption at the Manila Police District headquarters on Saturday. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre on Saturday announced a “fundraising” campaign for the victims of confessed road rage killer Vhon Martin Tanto, as the Public Attorneys Office (PAO) vowed to provide legal assistance to their families.

In a press conference at the Manila Police District (MPD) headquarters where Tanto was detained a day after his arrest, Aguirre said he was donating  P20,000 from his own funds to kick-start the drive.

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“I take pity on the victims of this crime so I would like to start the fundraising,” he said, referring to the slain bicycle rider Mark Vincent Garalde and the wounded student Rosell Bondoc, who is still recuperating in the hospital.

PAO chief Persida Acosta said her office would coordinate with the justice secretary, the local prosecutors,  and the police “so there will be justice and Garalde’s death will not be in vain.”

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An answered prayer

Garalde’s mother, Malou, called Tanto’s surrender an “answer to my prayers” and said she was leaving the shooter’s fate to God.

“It was my son who died, he should remember that. We’re talking about someone’s life here. Even I have fits of anger, yes, that’s normal. But if I kill (Tanto), will that bring my son back? No,” she said

“God will take care of him (Bahala na ang Diyos sa kaniya),” said Malou, who went to the press conference with Garalde’s wife Rei.

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The widow took note of the speedy resolution of the case, which the MPD has declared closed.

“I want to know why he did that,” Rei said. “I mean, (my husband) already shook his hand. It meant they were already OK. Why did he have to get off (his car) and shoot him? Or if he wanted to get even, why not just punch him again? But instead he shot him.”

Garalde and Rei have a 13-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter.

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Malou said her son would be buried at Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City on Tuesday.

Erwin Paala, president of the Families of Road Victims and Survivors Association Inc., said a “sympathy ride” would be held today in memory of the victim.

Expecting thousands to attend, Paala said they would assemble at different sites—SM Mall of Asia, Quezon City Hall and Rizal Park—and converge on  P. Casal Street in Quiapo where Garalde was killed.

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TAGS: fundraiser, Mark Vincent Garalde, Persida Acosta, Road rage, Rosell Bondoc, Vhon Martin Tanto, Vitaliano Aguirre
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