The Philippine National Police (PNP) today recovered the black Toyota FJ Cruiser owned by musician Jojo Valerio in Novaliches, Quezon City. However, the vehicle was repainted and is no longer brandishing a number “8” license plate.
Meanwhile, Valerio lamented in a radio interview that the public has unfairly criticized him without knowing the entire story of what occurred during his viral traffic altercation.
Valerio became this week’s talk of the town when he was shown in a video hitting another motorist, identified as Jesusito Palma, in Angeles City. The video also shows his vehicle then sporting an “8” license plate which is issued only to members of the House of Representatives.
Chief Superintendent Roberto Fajardo, PNP-Highway Patrol Group director, said the vehicle has been repainted and now sports a regular license plate, reported ABS-CBN News.
He also added that Congress has not issued new “8” license plates since 2016 and that using expired plates will result in confiscation and a fine of PHP5,000 (US$94.95).
GMA News reported that Valerio will be charged for repainting the vehicle without the permission of the Land Transport Office.
Valerio was driving a Starex van when he was arrested in Tarlac City on Tuesday.
For beating up Palma, Valerio has been charged with serious physical injuries and a traffic violation, reported the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
He’s currently out on bail.
The discovery of the vehicle comes after Valerio said that people had already judged him without knowing the complete story of why he beat Palma up.
In an interview with radio station DZMM, he explained that Palma was driving towards him at a high speed and he ended up hitting the breaks of his car to avoid him. However, this sent his 4-month-old baby landing on the floor off his vehicle and out of its mother’s arms.
Angered, he went down from his car to confront Palma. He told DZMM: “We cursed each other. After a minute, he spat at me.”
This provoked Valerio to beat Palma up whom he said was drunk.
However, Valerio couldn’t explain during his interview why he was using a number “8” plate.
Valerio denied reports saying that he introduced himself as a congressperson’s son during the altercation.
“There was no intention of introducing myself as a congressman or a son of a congressman. When I went down to see him, I didn’t say such a thing. Why would I name drop someone whom I don’t know,” he said.
Previously, Pampanga First District Representative Carmelo Lazatin II denied that Valerio was his son or that he owned the infamous Toyota FJ Cruiser Valerio used.
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