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Antipolo cabbie chases down alleged hit-and-run motorist

A cab driver quickly sprung into action when he witnessed a private vehicle crash into a pedicab driver then roar away along the Marcos Highway late one night.

In a Tuesday 24 Oras report by Marisol Abdurahman, cabbie Garry Torrequemada recounted how he was waiting for passengers at around 1:30 a.m. when he suddenly heard a loud crash.

“May kumalabog na napakalakas na impact. Pagtingin ko, may taong umikot sa ere. Bumagsak. Pagbagsak niya, tiningnan ko, [‘yung] nakabangga sa kanya, nagmenor sa Shell. No’ng nagmenor, biglang bumilis,” said Torrequemada.

The cab driver immediately chased the driver of the private vehicle, identified as Gustavo Vitriolo, who stopped at the side of the road and denied that he saw the victim.

Torrequemada soon learned that the victim, pedicab driver Arnold Bunales, was a friend of his.

“Dati no’ng nagpapadyak po ako, masikap po talaga ‘yan e. Kabiruan ko talaga ‘yan e. Simula 2013, nagpadyak ako, hanggang umalis ako ng 2018, nag-taxi ako, kaibigang kaibigan ko talaga ‘yon,” he said.

Antipolo Police said the victim was rushed to hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

“Nag-cross siya sa Marcos Highway. Pagdating doon sa eastbound, paparating naman ‘tong sasakyan. Allegedly, sabi po no’ng suspect natin na driver, eh parang andaming dumarating na naka-motor, parang kinukuyog siya,” investigator Christopher Duaso said.

The victim's family and the suspect had reached an out of court settlement and Vitriolo was released.

However, the Land Transportation Office said the suspect’s license could still be revoked for recklessness.

The victim’s wife, Imelda, said she was grateful for Torrequemada’s help.

“Concerned talaga ako sa tao, sa tao lang. Kasi tao ‘yun e, buhay ‘yun. Eh, sa kanya kotse, tapos tinakbuhan niya pa,” said the taxi driver. — Julia Mari Ornedo/DVM, GMA News