Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Road Rage on EDSA: My pulis point of view

I followed with interest the now-viral video of the altercation between two drivers in EDSA.  One was driving a Mercedez Benz, now identified as Karlvin Ang and the other a taxi, earlier identified as Glen Remetio.  From the first get go when this story was published, I already had a feeling that there are more things than there is in the video.  Of course Filipinos love the underdog, so Remetio got public sympathy early on.  But as the facts became clear, not a few Filipinos show the same feeling that I had—that Mr. Taxi Driver just met his match.

Precursor incidents (based on news reports pa rin.)

In earlier interviews, Remetio stated that he was “cut” by the Benz in a fly over.  Based on analysis, this is in Kamuning because he added that “nagkagitgitan sila pag pasok ng underpass at muli pag labas nito.”  By deductions again, this is in EDSA-Aurora-Tuazon” underpass commonly known as “EDSA Ilalim” in bus route lingo.  This narration gives credence to earlier witness accounts (I forgot the name of the source but I know that I saw this on TV) that stated that the Benz provoked the taxi by cutting him off at Kamuning flyover and the taxi responded in kind by tailgating the Benz afterwards.

Now this is where the video started.

Round 1:  By the position of the vehicles, it appeared that the Benz blocked the taxi on top of Santolan-Crame flyover and Ang went down to confront the taxi driver.  My guess is that he wanted to confront the latter for tailgating him.  His gun was INSIDE the bag at this time, but whatever his reasons are, this action of going out of his vehicle should still be taken against him.  Going down your vehicle to confront another driver is NEVER a good move.  There are very few valid justifications for it, and unless you are involved in a collision accident where your vehicle made contact with another or a pedestrian, you are never obliged by law to do so.  At this juncture, there was no contact yet between their cars so I think Ang was wrong here just like he was wrong in Kamuning if the accounts of him cutting of the taxi are true.  Thus one point for Remetio.

Round 2:  When Ang approached his taxi, Remetio attempted to get off his taxi WITH A KNIFE.  I can believe this scenario.  I will boldly state that 99% of taxi drivers will do this when involved in a “YABANGAN” which at this point, this incident was.  When Ang saw this, he attempted to prevent Remetio from getting off the taxi by slamming its door.  But Remetio was in a better position to apply more force to the door thus, he was able to get out.  Note that during all the shoving and pushing, Ang’s gun REMAINED INSIDE the bag all the time.  But Remetio still got off his taxi WITH a knife when the correct action on his part, if he wanted to also confront Ang, is to get off unarmed and engage the latter in a shouting match for all they want.  Had they done this, their only offense would be cured by a couple of traffic citations.  One point for Ang for keeping the gun in the bag but this is actually negated by the fact that he started all this confrontation.  He is only partially within Article 11 of the RPC.  Remetio exemplified the textbook example of “unlawful aggression” by attempting to bring the knife into the fight but an argument can be made that Ang triggered the aggression by sufficient provocation.  The response of Ang, which is to keep Remetio inside the vehicle, is correct and appropriate for the situation.  The gun is still in the bag at this time but the knife is already in the open and if Remetio killed Ang at this point, he will be liable for homicide.  He cannot claim self defense because the act of stabbing an unarmed man even if he latter started the confrontation is difficult to justify.  Bottomline:  Round is even.  Pareho silang gago.

Round 3:  This is the clincher.  Losing the shoving match and seeing a knife-wielding man now standing in front of him just a few feet away, Ang drew his gun and pointed it to Remetio.  He did not fire but this action settled the argument when Remetio, seeing the gun pointed at him, came back to his senses and threw the knife back inside his taxi.  Ang promptly returned the gun in his bag after seeing Remetio throw the knife back inside the taxi.  One point for Ang but 10 points for the gun!  Hahaha!  This is the use of the gun that I always teach to my students:  its threat of legal use is usually enough to settle most arguments.  You need not fire it to achieve its purpose.  But that is another article altogether.  Make a comment here and I will write the article.  But then again, in the final analysis, the legal use of the gun by Ang is again negated by the fact that he started all the ruckus by driving recklessly in Kamuning and getting down his vehicle in Santolan to confront the other driver, so still, had he killed Remetio even at the point when the latter was holding the knife, he will still be liable for homicide.  He can only claim incomplete self defense.  Yes, there was unlawful aggression because Remetio is holding a knife and the response is just appropriate because jurisprudence had already established that using a gun against a knife at that distance is justifiable, but Ang will certainly fail the third element because he started the escalation of forces by his own provocative actions.  Bottomline:  another even round.  Mga gago talaga silang pareho.

Round 4:  Ang confiscated the knife of Remetio and drove off.  Remetio chased and blocked him after about 200 meters under the EDSA-Santolan MRT station, ironically, right in front of Camp Crame, the seat of the PNP.  At this juncture, the vehicles had already made contact with the front right portion of the Benz hitting the left rear portion of the taxi.  At this point, the sympathy of the crowd is already against Remetio with the bus driver clearly heard shouting, “Matapang kasi e.  Ayan, gagawin mo yan.”  My interpretation of this statement is that it was directed to Remetio and the admonition for him to repair the damage of the Benz.  This is so because it can also be heard from the other passengers around the video taker saying that the “takedown” or the contact was clearly initiated by Remetio.  One clean point for Ang.  It seems that the employer of Remetio agrees with me because the latest news reports stated that he was fired by his taxi company.

So after all things were said and done, what is my pulis take on this?

Both of the parties are liable.  The scores show it.  Round 1, Remetio.  Rounds 2 and 3, even.  Round 4, Ang.  Hahahaha!

First:  Granting that Ang cut him off at Kamuning, Remetio cannot convince me that exacting revenge by tailgating the Benz is justified.  If I am Remetio, I will just curse Ang and pray that may he meet an accident!  Hahahaha!  Seriously this is what I actually do so all of you watch out for me in the streets.  Malakas ako sa langit at mababangga talaga kayo pag inasar nyo ako!

Bottomline:  Gago si Ang, pero mas gago ang pumapatol sa gago di ba?

Second:  Granting that Remetio was making revenge by tailgating him, the action of Ang of getting off his vehicle is another bigger kagaguhan that worsened his initial gago action of reckless driving at Kamuning.  (I just wonder, what is it about flyovers that triggers his kagaguhan?)  If I am Ang, I just would have let the taxi pass and simply say. “Mauna ka nang kupal ka.  Bukas taxi pa rin ang sasakyan mo.  Ako Benz pa rin.  Hahaha!”  Again seriously, this is what I do.  But because of what he did, Ang played Russian Roulette with his life because if it was me in the shoes of Remetio (though I will never provoke him the way Remetio did), he had a very good chance of getting two bullets in the chest and another in the head from the caliber .45 that I carry especially if he openly displayed his gun on me.  And I can justify this action legally because I will shoot him from a sitting position inside my car negating unlawful aggression on my part and easily proving that fact later because all I will say to the court is "How can I assault a person while sitting inside my car?"

Third:  But the biggest kagaguhan of all was done by Remetio when he chased and eventually bumped the Benz after Ang drove off.  No need to explain why but this is pure and simple stupidity because he could have just went straight to the police station and report the incident.  But he opted to get justice on the streets even though he already knew that Ang was armed!  If there is an example of pure stupidity, this is it.  And even if Ang does not shoot him (he must have been emboldened because Ang did not pull the trigger earlier) what if Ang replied in kind by smashing his taxi with the SUV?  He could have been maimed if not killed!  Because if it was done to me by Remetio, he would have tasted a textbook PIT maneuver that he will regret for the rest of his life!

All in all, for me, this is a case of an arrogant driver (Ang) provoking an equally arrogant driver (Remetio).  They really found each other.

Sayang nga lang, hindi pa sila nagpatayan.  Sana nabawasan ng dalawang gago ang kalsada natin.



  1. Review the Video from the start in slow motion. sinaksak muna si ANG bago niya sinisipa yung pinto. Kung ikaw ay naunang nasaksak ng dahil tinanong ni ANG sa taxi driver REMETION (anong problema mo?) then sinaksak ka?? d mo ba idedefend sarili mo??

    1. tama ka sa puntong sinaksak muna si ang. kaso bakit sya sinaksak? sino ba ang unang bumaba at kumompronta?

      well obviously, kung ito maging linya ng argumento natin, it will a "your lawyer versus mine" situation.

      ang sinasabi ko lang, mahihirapan si ang na mabuo ang self defense dahil may mga precursor incidents na mahirap nyang majustify.

      salamat sa visit!

  2. Hindi porke mga may kaya umaapi sa mga mahihirap ok??

    1. hehe parang hindi ako makarelate. anyway thanks for the visit po.

  3. Malinaw naman sa loob ng bus di ba?? very clearly kung ano mga sinasabi ng mga pasahero d ba?? common sense lang pare ireview mo lang ng paulit ulit at diyan mo makikita lahat yung umpisa ng video in SLOW MOTION


tell me what you think!