Many are still talking and debating about the road rage incident involving dismissed police officer Wilfredo Gonzales who cocked his handgun and threatened to shoot cyclist Allan Bandiola, the other party in that road rage drama. Both claimed that they were aggrieved when they faced the Senate hearing recently.
In a video that went viral on social media, the former policeman, who was then employed as consultant in the Office of Supreme Court Associate Justice Ricky Rosario, was seen hitting Bandiola on the head and then drawing and cocking his gun.
We understand the predicament of Gonzales when he said he was not able to stop himself from punching the cyclist who he claimed hit his car and flashed a dirty finger to his face.
“I am telling you what really happened. I am also a victim here. I lost my job and I am being bullied on social media as well as my family,” he added.
It was Sen. Ronald dela Rosa presided over the hearing by the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs after several senators filed resolutions calling for an investigation.
Senator Bato said the hearing was not just about Bandiola and Gonzales but members of the cycling community who had been bullied by motorists. But how about motorists who have been bullied by cyclists and motorcycle riders.
Let us not dance around.
Any car or SUV driver will tell you lots and lots of stories on the road, each with the same theme — motorcycle riders and bikers cutting the road and recklessly moving in and out of their designated lanes, endangering other drivers and most especially pedestrians.
It is presumptuous of Senator Bato to immediately blame motorists when drivers of two-wheel vehicles are most often to blame. Being small, their vehicles weave through traffic like there is no tomorrow. And yes, no tomorrow came for some of them who dared to drive recklessly and thus paid dearly with their lives.
Dela Rosa said they are still studying what penalty to impose on those guilty of road rage, adding that he might push for life imprisonment.
Will the Senate committee hearing on this particular quarrel serve as a deterrent to future road rage incidents? Senator Bato dela Rosa thinks so.
Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said the Senate can come up with a special law to allow the government to pursue complaints against road rage suspects even if the private complainant is not interested in pursuing the case.
The Land Transportation Office and Philippine National Police-Firearms and Explosives Office have suspended Gonzales’ driver’s license and firearm license and permits. Justice Rosario fired him from his job, and Senator Francis “Tol” Tolentino wanted him to return to the PNP his separation pay since he was dismissed, not retired.
Let me point out to our traffic authorities, prosecutors, judges and local officials that there is also two sides in a street vehicular accident, and that is the reason why a deep and thorough investigation is in order.
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