SUV driver in Mandaluyong hit-and-run surrenders, family says willing to support victim

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 15)— The driver of the SUV involved in the viral hit-and-run incident in Mandaluyong City has surrendered to the police.

Jose Antonio Sanvicente appeared before the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the media on Wednesday, where he apologized to the victim, security guard Christian Floralde, who suffered serious injuries after getting rammed by the vehicle.

“My apologies sa nangyari. My apologies kay Mr. [Floralde] at sa kanyang pamilya (My apologies for what happened. My apologies to Mr. Floralde and his family),” Sanvincente told reporters.

The camp of Sanvicente explained that he was “rattled” following the incident.

“Very apprehensive siya, natatakot siya, nag-panic in other words (He was very apprehensive, he was scared, he panicked in other words),” his lawyer Danny Macalino said.

Sanvicente also admitted that the whole incident is now a “blur” in his mind.

The Land Transportation Office earlier revoked Sanvicente’s driver's license and perpetually disqualified him from driving after he was found liable for reckless driving and for leaving the scene of the incident. He earlier snubbed two show cause orders from the agency.

Sanvicente also surrendered his SUV to authorities — an important piece of evidence for the investigation, according to the police.

A hearing for the case lodged against Sanvicente will take place on June 17. He is expected to explain his side through a counter-affidavit.

An accident?

Sanvicente’s parents meanwhile came to his defense, arguing that what transpired was merely an “accident.”

“Hindi kami makatulog, hindi kami makakain. Siyempre anak namin ‘yung involved. Tsaka nag-viral na eh, ‘di ba? Masisira na ‘yung buhay ng anak ko,” Sanvincente’s mother said.

“I think ito, aksidente naman talaga ‘to,” she added. “Maayos ang anak ko. Sino bang may gusto na takbuhan ‘yon?”

[Translation: We can’t sleep, we can’t eat. Of course, our son is involved. And it became viral already, right? My son’s life will be ruined. I think this is all an accident. My son is good. Who would want to run from that?]

Help for the victim

The Sanvicente family said they were willing to extend any kind of help to Floralde, who was discharged from the hospital last week.

Floralde, meanwhile, welcomed Sanvicente’s move.

“Masaya po (ako) na nagpakita na siya, na lumutang na siya.. Para maharap (na) niya ‘yung kasong isinampa sa (kanya). At para marinig po natin kung ano yung side niya,” he said.

[Translation: I’m happy that he surfaced, so he can face the cases filed against him. And so we can hear his side.]

In an interview with CNN Philippines later in the day, Floralde said he accepts Sanvicente’s apology, but noted that the cases against the latter will still push through.

CNN Philippines' Crissy Dimatulac and Alyssa Rola contributed to this report.