THE officer in the center of a road rage video that has sped through social media surrendered yesterday in a town more than 100 kilometers from where the case began.
After he gave himself up to a team from the Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO), where he is assigned, PO3 Renato Inot led the authorities from Medellin to the town of Sogod, where his first-degree cousin Adelcos Alonzo also surrendered.
Inot also surrendered his service firearm, a 9mm Glock, the same gun that his cousin held last Friday, when they were both recorded confronting a truck driver and his passenger in Mandaue City.
Officer Inot denied that he had gone into hiding. He also asked for forgiveness from Crispen Ricarte, the truck driver, whom he punched and kicked several times.
“Sorry lang gyud. Spur of the moment. Daghan ko’g gihunahuna ato (I am sorry. I acted on the spur of the moment. I had a lot on my mind at that time),” Inot said.
Police Supt. Bernouli Abalos, chief of the MCPO City Intelligence Branch, said that Inot called and informed them that he would like to surrender, but he requested to be picked up in Medellin because he feared for his safety.
Abalos led the team when they left for northern Cebu at 3 a.m. yesterday.
Inot was in Barangay Poblacion, Medellin.
After that, Abalos said, they went to Barangay Bawo in Sogod to get Alonzo.
Both the officer and his cousin were presented to journalists yesterday.
Senior Supt. Roberto Alanas, director of MCPO, said they will file complaints for grave threats and physical injuries agianst Inot, while complaints of grave threats, physical injuries and illegal possession of a firearm will be lodged against Alonzo.
They will file the cases in the prosecutor’s office today.
Inot will also face administrative cases for grave misconduct and absence without official leave.
Alonzo and Inot were held in the MCPO after they surrendered. Police Chief Alanas, however, said that Inot should continue to work even while he awaits resolution of his cases and is considered on a “floating” status.
Inot said he was in Medellin because he was supposed to attend a court hearing in Bogo City yesterday morning. He surrendered because his family, especially his mother, was affected by what happened.
“Wa ko motago. Naa lang ko’y personal problem. Naa ko’y giasikaso sa korte sa Bogo (I did not hide. I had a personal problem. I was attending to an important matter in a court in Bogo),” Inot said.
The incident that caused Inot and Alonzo’s troubles took place last Friday. On a motorcycle, Inot tried but failed to overtake a Mitsubishi Canter that Ricarte was driving.
He said he was in a hurry at that time.
Inot denied that he pointed his gun at Ricarte, contrary to the truck driver’s claim. (The video, which was posted on Facebook, did not show this either.) He denied that he was drunk.
Inot said he gave his gun to a traffic enforcer who was in the area, but he didn’t identify the latter.
The video showed Alonzo pointing a gun at Leonardo Orcullo, a supervisor of Triple L Comprehensive, who was Ricarte’s passenger.
Alonzo said that a traffic enforcer just gave Inot’s firearm to him.
“Niaksyon sya’g bunot, abi ko’g armas cell phone man diay (I thought Orcullo was pulling out a gun, but it was just his cell phone),” Alonzo said, when asked why he pointed the gun.
He said he had no intention of firing at Orcullo.
Mandaue City Mayor Gabriel Luis Quisumbing congratulated Alanas and other police officers for the immediate action.
He assured that Mandaue will continue to be a place where everybody can feel safe, despite the campaign against illegal drugs and occasional incidents of road rage.
“You know what this incident showed me more than anything else is just how powerful the engagement of the citizenry can be... We need the help of every citizen to make sure that incidents such as this or even incidents in the barangays that may not be as visible (are made public). We need help in reporting,” Quisumbing added.