crimes in the Philippines

Family seeks justice for killing of Pampanga truck driver along highway in Malate

Joann Manabat

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Family seeks justice for killing of Pampanga truck driver along highway in Malate

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Louella Masangcay remains in a state of disbelief, even weeks after the traumatic incident in which her husband, Ronald, was mercilessly attacked around midnight along Osmena Highway in Malate, Manila

PAMPANGA, Philippines – A family from Mabalacat City in the Pampanga province is seeking justice following the death of a 43-year-old truck driver who was brutally killed, allegedly by employees of a towing company in Manila on November 4.

Louella Masangcay remains in a state of disbelief, even weeks after the traumatic incident in which her husband, Ronald, was mercilessly attacked around midnight along Osmena Highway in Malate, Manila, repeatedly struck in the head with a wooden wheel chock

Ronald was rushed to Makati Medical Center before succumbing to his injuries at noon the next day, November 5. He was 43.

“Ali ku pamu rin makapaniwala keng milyari keng asawa ku. Ga ngeni pag aiisip ku, mangaga ku. Paksabyan ke, mangaga ku. Alang aldo na eku mangaga. Likwan na kami reng adwa ming anak, ala ku pang obra. Manyad kaming katarungan king asawa ku,” Louella, in tears, told Rappler on Thursday, November 23.

(I still can’t believe what happened to my husband. Even now, I cry whenever I think about it or talk to him. There hasn’t been a day when I haven’t cried. He left us with our two children, and I don’t have a job. We are seeking justice for my husband.)

She added, “Eke buring akit pota eku agyu kasi sabi da kaku critical ya. Eke agyung silipan keng emergency room. Oneng mga two hours kayi pintalan ke. Ikit ke comatose ne. Linub ku ikit ku pa bitis, aliwa na ku panamdaman, maybug kung milako male tau. Balamu tigtugan da kung marimlang danum, eku maybug milakad anyang akit ke ing asawa ku makanyan ya.” 

(I didn’t want to see him. I couldn’t do it because they told me he was already in critical condition. I couldn’t even take a peek at the emergency room. Two hours later, I saw him comatose. When I went inside, I saw his feet first, and it sent chills down my spine, almost making me faint as if cold water had been poured on me. I couldn’t even walk when I saw what happened to him.)

Louella and Ronald were married for 12 years, and together they raised two children – a 10-year-old girl and a seven-year-old boy.

Ronald was not only a husband and father but also a son and a brother. Louella described him as kindhearted, and he had no known enemies.

A report from the Manila Police District Homicide Section identified the suspects as Michael Espiritu, the tow truck team leader, and his aides Allan Paderes and Laiza Paderes. All of them are residents of Makati City.

Staff Sergeant Irene Jay Manalili said the suspects fled the crime scene and are still at large as of posting time.

The truck the suspects used is registered under Mater Towing Services Incorporated, and it was taken and placed under the custody of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) towing and impounding group.

Manalili said the company’s tow trucks typically operate on a 24-hour basis. 

Based on the initial police investigation, the tow truck used by the suspects was supposed to operate along the C-5 section in Taguig from November 1 to 30.

“The suspects were not assigned at Osmeña Highway. The tow truck is supposed to be in the C-5 area – that’s their dispatch area,” said Manalili.

Investigators said the victim parked an Isuzu 10-wheel cargo truck along Osmeña Highway to fix a gear shift, and an Isuzu Elf tow truck later blocked his way as he was about to leave.

Police said a group alighted from the tow truck, and one of the suspects, Espiritu, allegedly confronted Ronald and punched the victim in the face.

Investigators said the tow truck team leader allegedly struck Ronald with a wooden wheel chock as soon as he stepped down from his truck before the group took turns beating him up. 

The victim was laid to rest on November 14.

The Masangcays have filed a murder complaint against the suspects with Ronald’s aide as the primary witness. The family has included the towing company in their complaint. 

They are also attempting to raise funds for legal and other related expenses via GoFundMe. – Rappler.com

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