DOJ approves filing of murder charge vs suspect in biker slay
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has approved the filing of murder case against former army reservist Vhon Martin Tanto for the death of cyclist Mark Vincent Garalde in a road rage incident in Quiapo, Manila last July 25.
In an 8-page resolution signed by Assistant State Prosecutors Jeannette Dacpano and Robert Ong, Jr., approved by Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Theodore Villanueva and Prosecutor General Claro Arellano, aside from murder, the DOJ also approved the filing of serious physical injuries for seriously wounding Rosell Bondoc who was hit by a stray bullet fired through Tanto’s caliber .45 revolver.
No bail was recommended for his temporary liberty.
The DOJ resolution took note Tanto’s extrajudicial admission that he has no intention of killing Geralde. He said he only lost his temper because the victim was arrogant.
“I rolled down the window and said sorry. I told him to be more careful and that bikers should keep to the roadside. He suddenly cursed me. I asked him to stop cursing, but he did not stop,” Tanto said.
Geralde was shot four times at close range as seen on a CCTV footage that went viral in social media.
“Respondent, a Philippine Army Reservist who had sufficient training in handling firearms, took advantage of his superior strength and expertise by intentionally shooting victim Geralde numerous times to effectively ensure his demise,” the resolution stated.
On the other hand, the frustrated murder case against Tanto for shooting Bondoc was downgraded from the original charge of frustrated murder.
“[I]t is difficult for a prudent man to ignore that the evidence adducted against respondent that there is sufficient basis to engender a well-founded belief that he is probably guilty thereof. [B]ased on the admission made by respondent Tanto, which contained details that only the person who committed the crime could have possibly known, it is pristine clear that he was the one who intentionally shot victim Garalde and involuntarily injuring victim Bondoc.”
“[T]here is no iota of doubt, that there is probable cause cause to charge respondent for murder and serious physical injuries,” the resolution read.
After the incident, Tanto fled from Manila but was later arrested in Masbate. Tanto, however insisted that he was not arrested but that he surrendered. CDG/rga
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