The owner of the vehicle that figured in the fatal hit-and-run of nurse Renz Jayson Perez in Manila has surrendered but insisted that someone else was driving when the accident occurred.
Saudah Bacaye, 30, was arrested by Quezon City police and was brought to the Manila Police District for questioning yesterday. Bacaye, who was accompanied by her lawyer, told the authorities that someone had borrowed her sports utility vehicle for two weeks but did not identify who that person was. William Delos Santos, her counsel, claimed that she didn’t even know the identity of the person who borrowed her car. The suspect also said that she was unaware that her car was involved in last weekend’s hit-and-run.
While she insisted that she was innocent of the crime, she said she was willing to pay Perez’s family for damages in connection with the accident.
Manila Police District spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Carlo Magno Manuel told GMA News Online that despite Bacaye’s claim that the vehicle was borrowed, she used the SUV “every day.”
“Based on the information that we got from their village, that vehicle is always in their house and there was even this time prior to the incident where they were called out for illegally parking it,” Manuel said in Filipino and English.
He added that they were able to trace the suspect to her house in Quezon City using the SUV’s conduction sticker and a CCTV footage. Bacaye could also face additional charges for failing to turn over the vehicle to the authorities.
“The vehicle is still not here. They don’t want to turn it over. They’re hiding it. [The] traffic [department] is supposed to conduct an investigation, so they could be charged for obstruction,” the spokesman added.
Filipinos were shocked and furious after learning of the death of Perez, a former nurse at the Justice Jose Abad Santos Hospital in Binondo. The 23-year-old was struck by a vehicle at the corner of Manila’s Padre Burgos and Orosa streets on Sunday while he was cycling on his way home. He was supposed to work at a Quezon City hospital if not for his death.
He is the second health worker to have died while cycling. Maria Teresa Dajao, a doctor working at the Manila health department, was fatally struck by a truck in Pandacan in April. Many Filipinos have had to cycle to and from work because public transport is operating at a reduced capacity in the country to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
This article, Owner of SUV that killed nurse claims innocence in Manila hit-and-run, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!