Cabbie, woman in viral traffic row video swap raps
The taxi driver and the female motorist who figured in the now viral video of a traffic altercation in Quezon City on Sunday have traded charges, accusing each other of being the road bully.
A day after talking to transport officials, the 52-year-old cabbie, Virgilio Doctor, filed complaints against Cherish Sharmaine Interior for slight physical injuries, unjust vexation and malicious mischief in the city prosecutor’s office on Tuesday.
But it was actually Interior, reportedly a 31-year-old call center supervisor, who made the first move by going to the same office on Monday afternoon to sue Doctor, also for unjust vexation and slight physical injuries.
She claimed to have suffered a knee injury when the cabbie tried to drive off but bumped her instead — a moment in their confrontation which the video didn’t capture.
Doctor, who has been driving a cab for the last 13 years, had Ariel Inton of the group Lawyers for Commuters’ Safety and Protection for counsel.
In an affidavit sworn before senior assistant city prosecutor Maria Cristina Ongsiako-Zulueta, Doctor recalled that he had a female passenger around 9 a.m. Sunday on Congressional Avenue, Barangay Bahay Toro, when he found himself behind the woman’s gray Honda Civic.
“Since it was going very slow, I decided to overtake it but instead (of letting me overtake,) it blocked my way,” he said in Filipino.
The woman then stepped out of her car, carrying a small steel pipe, and cursed him while repeatedly hitting his taxi, he added.
“I rolled down my window to apologize but she suddenly hit my face and I became dizzy out of shock,” the driver added.
A video of the incident taken by Joshua Baluyot and which later went viral online showed the woman also trying to break the cab’s side mirror.
Doctor was later seen alighting his cab and walking towards the sidewalk with a limp. In the complaint, he explained that he stepped out of the taxi fearing he might suffer another stroke, having survived one in 2014.
Meanwhile, staffers from the city prosecutor’s office confirmed that Interior filed a complaint against Doctor on Monday afternoon.
She did it without any lawyer assisting her, they said.
In a sworn statement to the Quezon City Police District dated Dec. 17, the same day of the incident, Interior maintained that it was the cabbie who kept driving too close to her — “pilit akong ginigitgit” — on Congressional that morning. She was then taking her children to a Christmas party, she added.
“There was an incoming SUV that I allowed to pass. Along the way, in front of Emnace Grill, the cab driver kept a close distance … (and) because there was a parked car nearby, he almost hit my car,” she said.
Interior noted that she was able to corner Doctor in front of a house. Her partner then alighted from their vehicle to speak with the taxi driver, but the cabbie allegedly kept taking photos of them from inside his taxi.
“My husband spoke to his [female] passenger and she confirmed that [Doctor] was driving too fast,” she added.
“[Doctor] tried to escape so I blocked him, but he kept driving and hit my knee,” Interior said, adding that the driver also called her and her partner “crazy” after stepping off his cab.
“When my husband told me to get back to our car, I pointed at him, with my hand reaching into his car,” she said. “When he stepped out of his taxi, he started acting as if I had hit him, because he saw someone taking a video.”
There was no mention in Interior’s statement of her using a steel pipe to hit the cab.
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.