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Bilis magbago? PNP chief changes tune on erring SUV driver, offers excuses for his action

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Philippine National Police officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. has seemingly changed his tune on the SUV driver who ran over a security guard, after spewing angry words about the motorist and speculating that he used illegal drugs.

The driver, Jose Antonio San Vicente, surrendered to the PNP and was allowed to speak to the media before being released as the time has lapsed for him to be detained.

San Vicente failed to initially cooperate with police, prompting Danao to warn him of the consequences of his action.

“So hintayin mo ‘yong warrant of arrest, San Vicente ang apelyido mo ‘di ba? Wag ka lang sana maging Santo Vicente,” Danao had said.

After San Vicente surrendered, a more sedate Danao faced the media and offered excuses for why the driver ran away from the guard.

“Medyo na rattle po yung driver. Instead of hitting at stopping para tulungan po yung nabangga eh siya po ay tumakbo. Siguro dahil out of fear dahil nga yung guard ay may armas, maaring natakot po yung tao mismo,” he said in a press conference.

He said it was “very fortunate” that San Vicente had heeded his call for him to surrender and address the issue at hand.

He would now leave the matter to the courts, he said.

San Vicente’s lawyer Danilo Macalino echoed Danao’s statement, saying his client, who apologized for the incident, had “panicked.”

“Siya mismo, nag apologize sa nangyari. Hindi niya gustong mangyari yung aksidente. Nagkataon lang, natakot siya, nag panic siya,” Macalino said.

He said he advised his client to surface so that he could talk about what happened and extend his apologies.

As for Danao’s speculation that the driver may have used illegal drugs, San Vicente denied this.

His lawyer said he was not prepared to give advice to San Vicente on whether he should take a drug test or not.

San Vicente has been charged with frustrated murder and abandonment of victim.