Benjamin Abalos

Abalos: File raps vs driver for assaulting cyclist

August 28, 2023 Jun I. Legaspi 376 views

DEPARTMENT of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos said criminal cases should be filed against the driver who was caught on video brandishing a gun and assaulting a cyclist near Welcome Rotonda, Quezon City last August 8.

“For the sake of a peaceful and orderly society, we cannot allow a culture of impunity. We cannot allow bullies to just go around intimidating people with deadly weapons. There must be consequences here,” he said.

Abalos noted reports that the perpetrator, Wilfredo Gonzales, had reached a settlement with the victim. However, Abalos explained that in certain instances, criminal cases may still be filed even if the victim refuses to make a complaint.

Abalos, a lawyer by profession, explained that “even if the victim won’t testify, criminal cases can still be filed if another witness comes forward. For example, the person that took the viral video, or other bystanders during the incident, can establish that they were at the scene, and identify the perpetrator and the acts that he committed. At the very least, a case for alarm and scandal could be filed.”

Abalos sits as chairman of the National Police Commission (Napolcom), which supervises the Philippine National Police (PNP). Abalos said that Napolcom will monitor the PNP’s response to this incident.

“In case of any inaction by the PNP’s handling officers, the PNP’s Internal Affairs Service would investigate. The Napolcom may step in, if warranted. In any case, rest assured that the Napolcom will do its utmost to pursue the cause of justice,” he said.