MANILA — The Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) on Friday recovered in Quezon City the sport-utility vehicle that earlier got involved in a road rage incident that went viral on social media.
PNP-HPG head, Chief Supt. Roberto Fajardo said the Toyota FJ Cruiser, registered to road rage suspect Jojo Valerio, was recovered by PNP-HPG’s Task Force Limbas along Quirino Highway in Novaliches, Quezon City at around 3 a.m.
He said the vehicle has been altered and painted over, and the protocol plate number 8 replaced with a regular license plate (AVA 8781).
He said his men flagged down the vehicle when it was spotted in the area. It was driven by Valerio’s girlfriend that time, Fajardo said.
Fajardo said authorities readily checked the official receipt/certificate of registration (OR/CR) but it did not match with the vehicle’s color.
“Ang kulay niyan is noong una, original eto yung nakikita niyo. White yung ibabaw ng bubong. So makikita niyo na iba na. Pinalitan immediately the following day. Meron siyang intention na ilito and at the same time, takasan, so nag change color siya which is a violation of the LTO (Land Transportation Office) law (The original color of the vehicle’s roof is white as you see. But it was changed immediately the following day. They intend to confuse at the same time elude [arrest]. So, they changed the color which is a violation of the LTO law),” Fajardo said.
He added if car owners want to change the color of their vehicle, they must seek clearance from the HPG and the LTO.
“It could be changed but he [Valerio] changed it because of the crime that’s why we impounded the vehicle),” Fajardo said.
Fajardo said Valerio can still get his vehicle back, but he first needs to settle penalties for changing the vehicle’s color without permission.
Fajardo also said they will continue to apprehend motorists using the protocol “No. 8” license plates, noting that violators would have to shell out PHP5,000 as fine.
“We will crackdown on you,” Fajardo said as he warned those motorists who continue to use these protocol plates illegally.
Valerio, 30 was seen in a viral video hitting a driver of a red sedan on McArthur Highway in Angeles, Pampanga over a traffic altercation.
On Tuesday, police traced and arrested Valerio at a bar in Tarlac City. Valerio, a resident of Quezon City, is said to be a band singer and businessman. (PNA)