BULACAN policemen on Wednesday arrested seven suspects in a stoning incident in Hagonoy, Bulacan that killed a 45-year-old female passenger of a van, Bulacan Police Provincial Office director Sr. Supt. Chito Bersaluna said.
Bersaluna said the suspects, most of them tricycle drivers identified as Ezekiel Caparaz, 18; Bryan Balatbat, 22; Dario dela Cruz, 29; Jose Bernabe, 20; Jeffrey de Leon, 25; Rommel Nabong, 25; and Albert Martin, 22, will be facing murder charges in connection with the death of Malou Victorio, a resident of Blk. 1, Lot 55, Manalo Street in Upper Bicutan, Taguig City.
“This appears to be a case of a road rage. One of the suspects claimed he was punched by the driver of the wagon after they nearly hit each other’s vehicle. In retaliation, he sought the help of his fellow tricycle drivers who helped him hit the vehicle with stones to get even,” Bersaluna said.
Members of the Hagonoy Municipal Police Station arrested the suspects in a series of follow-up operations in Bgy. San Agustin on Wednesday afternoon.
The suspects were identified as the men who stoned a Mitsubishi Adventure van around 2 a.m. last Sunday in Bgy. San Agustin. The stoning was caught on CCTV camera.
An investigation showed that the victim was at the front passenger seat when one of the suspects who was on a motorcycle appeared and suddenly threw a big rock that smashed the right passenger windshield and directly hit the woman’s head.
The other suspects on a tricycle also lobbed rocks that damaged the rear bumper and body of the wagon being driven by the victim’s husband.
Malou was immediately taken by her husband to the Sacred Heart Hospital in Malolos City for emergency treatment before being transferred to the Quezon City General Hospital, where she fell into a coma and eventually died due to massive head injuries.
The victim’s husband said that the suspects apparently went after them in a case of a mistaken identity. “They apparently were targeting another vehicle and mistook our wagon for their target,” he said.
The Hagonoy police, however, are checking if the victim’s husband was really the one who punched one of the suspects during a traffic altercation.