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Angeles City road rage suspect a businessman-singer, not lawmaker

ANGELES, Philippines – The road rage suspect onboard a vehicle bearing a protocol license plate with the number 8 is not a congressman, but a businessman and singer who lives in Quezon City.

The suspect's identity was established after he was arrested in an operation jointly conducted by the Angeles City Police, the Central Luzon Regional Intelligence Division, Regional Highway Patrol Unit 3, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, and Tarlac Provincial Police on Tuesday night, November 13.

Central Luzon regional police director Chief Superintendent Amador Corpus and Angeles City Police director Senior Superintendent Enrico Vargas both identified the suspect as Jojo Valerio, 30.

Valerio was arrested around 11:30 pm at Bucketeers Resto Bar along MacArthur Highway in Barangay San Rafael, Tarlac City.

At around 1:30 am last Monday, November 12, Jesusito Palma, 26, a nurse and a resident of Barangay Cutcut in Angeles City, reported to cops that he was punched several times on the face by a man onboard a Toyota FJ Cruiser bearing a protocol plate after they got involved in a traffic altercation.

A video of the incident was uploaded online and went viral.

Pampanga 1st District Representative Carmelo Lazatin II, who was linked to the incident, has since denied that he was the man onboard the FJ Cruiser. He also said he does not own the vehicle.

Valerio now faces charges of serious physical injuries, grave threat, usurpation of authority, and violation of the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.

Under Executive Order No. 400 issued by then-president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on January 17, 2005, only members of the House of Representatives are entitled to use No. 8 protocol license plates. – Rappler.com