Sorry won’t do for Hummer driver who killed 2 and fled
After disregarding traffic rules in a flashy, hulking vehicle that he and his business partners used to make an impression, Alvin San Pablo was reduced to a meek-looking figure flanked by a lawyer, apologizing profusely to two grieving families.
Surrendering to the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) on Tuesday, San Pablo is facing charges for the death of Felix Marvin Bose and Lowell Gonzalgo, who were killed in a hit-and-run incident on Sunday when their motorbike collided with a black 2004 Hummer Wagon (BEU 200).
The Hummer was then on the wrong lane or running counterflow on V. Luna Avenue, Quezon City. The 5:25 a.m. incident was captured on video and has since gone viral on social media.
The QCPD said San Pablo, 32, claimed to have merely borrowed the vehicle from Armelo Daleon, 30, who in turn said he only borrowed it from the real owner, Eric Santos, 39.
But according to Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar, QCPD director, records showed that the vehicle was registered under Fenix CEZA International Inc., an importer of used motor vehicles, with a postal address in Baguio City.
Eleazar said the initial investigation revealed that San Pablo, Daleon and Santos were partners in a networking business and that the vehicle was assigned to Santos. Driving a head-turning Hummer was one of their ways to attract more partners, the official added.
Facing the victims’ families and the press on Tuesday, San Pablo denied that he was drunk that morning, but he admitted that he felt sleepy behind the wheel.
San Pablo said he and Daleon met the night before the incident. After having congee for a late-night meal, they parted ways, with Daleon driving a BMW.
“When I was on my way home on V. Luna Avenue, there was a spot which I tried to avoid and I momentarily closed my eyes,” he said, apparently referring to the moment when he hit the motorbike carrying Bose, 25, and his friend Gonzalgo, 26.
San Pablo said he kept driving because “I panicked and thought I would be mobbed” by bystanders. He fled all the way to Quezon province and returned only when Santos and Daleon urged him to surrender. Daleon also surfaced at the QCPD headquarters on Tuesday.
Cops recovered license plate
The Hummer’s license plate was detached on impact, helping authorities trace the vehicle. As of press time, however, the police have yet to recover the vehicle, which San Pablo said remained in Sariaya, Quezon.
With a lawyer by his side, San Pablo asked for forgiveness from the victims’ families, saying he was willing to shoulder expenses stemming from the tragedy.
But Gonzalgo’s mother Melinda, who wailed upon seeing San Pablo and Daleon, was inconsolable. “Lowell was a good son, he was planning to take the National Police Commission exams to be a policeman,” she told the Inquirer. “But he was brutally taken away from me.”
“It is so painful to lose a brother,” Gonzalgo’s sibling Cassidy said as he comforted their mother. “No amount of money is worth my brother’s life.”
Melinda and Cassidy flew from Bulan, Sorsogon province and, short of cash, had nowhere else to stay in the capital except for the funeral home holding Lowell’s remains.
Bose’s father Mamerto, who came from Masbate province, said his son had left behind a 2-month-old baby.
Charges of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and damage to property are set to be filed against San Pablo. He will also be charged for abandoning the victims, the QCPD said.
“We are still completing our documentation, but Daleon and Santos may face civil liabilities,” Eleazar said. He noted that the charges against San Pablo are for bailable offenses. -Jhesset O. Enano