Driver in viral road rage incident says he has settled issue with cyclist

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Wilfredo Gonzales, the driver seen in the viral video, held a press conference with the Quezon City police district on Aug 27.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 27) — The driver of a red sedan who was seen in a now-deleted video to be involved in a road rage incident with a cyclist said he had already settled the issue with the biker before the video went viral on Sunday.

In a news conference on Sunday afternoon, Wilfredo Gonzales said he and the cyclist made a written agreement hours after the incident, which occurred around 6 p.m. on Aug. 8. near the Welcome Rotonda at the boundary of Manila and Quezon City.

"Pagkatapos ng komprontasyon na nakita sa viral video, ako at ang ang siklista ay pumunta kami sa police station kung saan kami nagkausap, nagkapatawaran, at nagkasundong kalimutan ang nangyari," Gonzales told reporters at the Quezon City Police District headquarters

[Translation: After the confrontation seen in the video, the cyclist and I went to the police station where we talked, made amends, and agreed to forget about the incident.]

He did not disclose details of the written agreement.

After the video went viral on social media, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) issued a show cause order against the driver.

The Quezon City government also strongly condemned the incident, as Gonzales reportedly pointed a handgun at the cyclist.

In a press release, LTO Chief Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza said the show cause order was issued through the agency's National Capital Region Director Roque Verzosa III.

Mendoza also ordered an investigation into the incident.

"We assure the public of our swift action on this matter," he said. "In as much as we want to immediately impose sanctions based on the viral video, we have to observe and respect due process and this includes a fair conduct of investigation."

The incident

The now-deleted video showed the motorist come out of his sedan to confront a cyclist who bumped his vehicle. He hit the cyclist on the head then drew his handgun.

Gonzales said he "voluntarily" surrendered the gun to the police on Aug. 8.

Raymond Fortun, a lawyer, posted a screenshot of the video on his Facebook account and said that the vehicle owner "appears to be a government employee, in light of a lapel pin."

When asked about his occupation or whether he is indeed a government employee, Gonzales told reporters, "Ang trabaho ko dati at sa ngayon, walang kinalaman sa kasong ito, sa usapang ito. Pasensya na kayo. Hindi ko masasagot 'yan."

[Translation: My work then and now is not related to this issue. I'm sorry. I cannot answer the question.]

In another post, Fortun commented on the situation of the cyclist: "In a nutshell, siya na 'yung binatukan at tinutukan ng baril, pinagbayad pa sya ng ₱500 [The cyclist was hit on the head and had a gun pointed at him, but was the one asked to pay ₱500]."

"Further, the person who uploaded the video has now also been threatened. 'Baka pati ikaw makasuhan [Maybe you will face a complaint, too].' If you can't access the video anymore, be it known that I have saved it as evidence," he added.

Quezon City gov't orders probe

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has ordered the city police and the QC Law and Order Cluster to investigate the incident.

"Sinisiguro ng pamahalaang lungsod na mananagot ang naturang lalaki sa buong saklaw ng batas na kanyang posibleng nilabag [The city government ensures that the driver will be held accountable in the full coverage of the law he possibly violated]," it added.

During the news conference, Quezon City Police District Director PBrig. Gen. Nicolas Torre III said Gonzales might face an administrative complaint from the Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO), but the FEO has not yet conducted an investigation on the driver's license to own and possess a firearm.

"Unfortunately, biglang may nag-post ng video na 'yon na naging viral. 'Yon pala na-realize natin non-case na pala dahil nagkasundo na sila [suddenly someone posted the video which went viral. But we realized it was a non-case as they already had an agreement]," Torre said.

Torre said the cyclist can still file a complaint if he wants to. He also said he is contacting the cyclist but has yet to receive a response.

The Quezon City government has also appealed to the cyclist to cooperate with the probe, adding it will ensure the cyclist's safety.