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MANILA, Philippines – The dismissed cop in the viral road rage video did not show up during the hearing for his cases at the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the agency said on Friday, September 1.
In a press release, LTO Metro Manila acting assistant regional director Hanzley Lim said Wilfredo Gonzales did not appear during the scheduled hearing at 2 pm, Thursday. Instead, the dismissed cop was represented by his son, who surrendered his father’s driver’s license. Gonzales is facing a 90-day preventive suspension of his license due to the road rage.
The LTO explained that based on the show cause order issued against Gonzales he received on August 28, “failure to submit a notarized affidavit would be deemed as a waiver to hear and contradict the allegations against the latter.”
“Mr. Gonzales did not submit an affidavit so we take it as a waiver on his part for us to decide on the matter based on the pieces of evidence we have,” Lim explained.
Through the show cause order, the dismissed cop was given a chance to explain why he should not be sanctioned for four alleged violations under Republic Act No. 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code. The possible violations include “reckless driving, obstruction of traffic, and improper person to operate a motor vehicle,” the agency said.
“With the absence of the notarized affidavit, these cases were already submitted for resolution and whatever the results, they will be submitted to the office of our LTO Chief, Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza II, for approval,” Lim said.
If proven guilty, the maximum penalty the LTO can impose on Gonzales is permanent revocation of his driver’s license. Gonzales’ LTO cases are on top of the alarm and scandal complaint filed by the Quezon City Police District (QCPD).
Unlike the dismissed cop, the registered owner of the vehicle Gonzales was driving submitted a notarized affidavit and other documents, saying the vehicle was already sold to Gonzales’ son.
Over the weekend, a video showing Gonzales alighting a red sedan and physically assaulting an unarmed cyclist went viral on the internet. The dismissed cop threatened the cyclist by drawing and cocking his firearm.
Gonzales, 63, is a former cop who worked in the police force for more than 20 years under the QCPD. Based on Gonzales’ dismissal order, he was officially dismissed on June 7, 2018 for grave misconduct during the time of former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Oscar Albayalde.
The dismissed cop was only identified during a press conference organized by the office of QCPD chief Police Brigadier General Nicolas Torre III on Sunday, August 27 – although organizing a briefing with a suspect is not part of the PNP’s direct mandate. Amid the backlash over the press briefing, Torre tendered his resignation, but PNP chief Benjamin Acorda Jr. said they will still review the QCPD chief’s resignation.
On August 30, the Supreme Court also confirmed that Gonzales was a coterminous employee under the office of Associate Justice Ricardo Rosario, but his employment was already terminated on Sunday, “upon discovery of the incident.” – Rappler.com