Rolito Go’s case coming into the limelight once again owing to a Supreme Court order allowing him to be released after serving more than two decades in jail may serve a higher purpose -- that of reminding motorists to always keep their heads cool when on the road.
The road rage incident involving Go and then La Salle Engineering student Eldon Magu-an is one grim reminder that in just a split second of indiscretion, one may either lose his life or lead a life behind bars, just like that. If you are rich like Go and Maguan, the more that you have to think twice before losing your temper.
For the sake of those who are not millenials or older, here’s what happened on that fateful day of July 2, 1991.
The then 25-year-old, good-looking Magu-an had just bought pizza (obviously, deliveries were not yet a fad at that time). He was alone in the car.
Go, on the other hand, then in his 40s, who also had the looks and was at the prime of his life as a construction magnate, had reportedly been to a bakeshop.
Reports also had it that Go was fighting with his girlfriend at that time and when he counterflowed on the one-way Wilson Street in San Juan, a collision nearly took place between the two cars until Go got out of his car armed with a gun and then shot Maguan right in the head, pointblank. Maguan landed in the intensive care unit but died just the same after a few days.
Go left the area in haste but a security guard was able to jot down his car’s plate number and later even positively identified him as the one who shot the hapless Maguan.
The incident sparked nationwide outrage. Six days after the incident, or on July 8, 1991, Go surrendered to the police, got detained and charged with frustrated homicide, all on the same day. The following day, Maguan died.
The prosecutor hailed him to court on July 11, 1991, and the charge had been amended to murder following Maguan’s death. After a two-year trial, or in 1993, he was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment or the equivalent of 40 years, by the Pasig Regional Trial Court.
Expectedly, Go filed a petition with the Supreme Court (SC) seeking for a reversal of the said verdict which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. This was in 1999. On January 10, 2000, the SC junked Go’s petition with finality.
Go was incarcerated at the maximum security compound of the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City. On November 1, 1993, he escaped prison and was rearrested in April of 1996.
In 2009, he was transferred to the minimum security compound in 2009. In 2011, reports said Go had cancer of the colon.
In August of 2012, Go again went missing. While his family claimed he was abducted, jail authorities said he escaped. The following day, Go came forward and said he was kidnapped but got released when the abductors learned that they had no money to pay for ransom.
Twenty-five years later, one could only regret how Maguan’s chance at life was wasted just like that. Go’s life on the other hand, was similarly wasted. Although he is now a free man, he will have to battle cancer and face inevitable death. Both their loved ones suffered, although the pain of Go’s family is nothing compared to that of the Maguans.
So to the motorists out there, let this incident be a constant guide and reminder that losing your cool while behind the wheel may be worth rethinking or even forgetting. As they say, patience is a virtue… ***
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Jokjok (from Jocelyn de Luna of Carmona, Cavite City) -- Juan: Pare, parang malalim ’ata ang iniisip mo ka-nina pa. Me problema ba?/Pedro: Oo pare, eh. Nanaginip kasi ako kagabi, kasama ko daw ang 80 contestants ng Miss Universe!/Juan: Wow! Ang swerte-swerte mo naman pare! Oh, eh anong problema mo du’n? Me bigla bang gumising sa ’yo bago pa me maganap?/Pedro: Hinde. Nabuo ko naman ang panaginip ko/Juan: Anak ng…! Eh ano nga ang problema?/Pedro: Ang problema pare, AKO ang nanalong MISS UNIVERSE! Ako!! ***