Pampanga lawmaker denies road rage incident

Keith A. Calayag
PAMPANGA 1st District Representative Carmelo “Jon” Lazatin II on Tuesday, November 13, denied rumors that he was the owner of the vehicle with “8” plate number involved in a road rage incident

PAMPANGA 1st District Representative Carmelo “Jon” Lazatin II on Tuesday, November 13, denied rumors that he was the owner of the vehicle with “8” plate number involved in a road rage incident in Angeles City.

In a press conference on Tuesday, November 13, Lazatin said he does not have an “8” license plate.

The Department of Transportation and Communications assigns protocol plates to politicians: “1” for the President; “2” for the Vice President; “3” for the Senate President; “4” for the Speaker of the House of Representatives; “5” for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; “6” for Cabinet Secretaries; “7” for senators; “8” for congressmen; “9” for the associate justices of the high court; and “10” for the presiding justice, other justices of the Court of Appeals and the Solicitor General.

In the video that went viral on social media, a man was seen attacking a driver who was inside a red sedan.

When the attacker was done punching the victim, he got inside a Toyota FJ Cruiser which bears the number “8” plate.

“Unang-una, ang komento ko po, dahil duly elected po ako, wala pa namang na-issue na plaka ang 17th Congress. So kung makikita sa video, ang ginamit na plaka ay 16th Congress, so 'di pa po ako representante pa non. So makikita po non na walang kaugnayan po sa akin kung anumang viral video ang lumabas,” said Lazatin.

The Pampanga 1st District representative in the 16th Congress was Josseler “Yeng” Guiao.

Lazatin also denied that the driver of the FJ Curiser is his son. He said his son is only 16 years old, whose built is different from the attacker's as seen in the video.

Lazatin also denied that he owns an FJ Cruiser. “Wala po [akong FJ Cruiser]. Meron ako Wigo,” he told reporters.

Lazatin’s name was dragged into the issue as the driver of the FJ Cruiser told the driver of the sedan that he is the son of Congressman Lazatin.

According to Lazatin, he learned this from his friend who happens to be one of the passengers in the red sedan.

Lazatin called on congressmen to return their invalid license plates to avoid a similar incident.

“Yung mga representatives na may invalid plates... sana ‘wag na pagamit sa mga anak po nila kung sakali mang pinapagamit nila yung mga sasakyan kasi nakakasama po..,” he said.

(I hope the representatives with invalid plates would not let their children use their vehicles.)

Lazatin said he and his son are willing to meet with the victim to clear their names.

Lazatin said he does not know why the attacker tagged him in the icident. He said he was sure that this is not connected to politics and the congressional race in the district.

Lazatin is seeking reelection.

“Wala naman po. Yung katunggali ko naman po mahusay din silang pamilya. Ang tingin ko lang po dito this is a gentleman’s game,” he said.

(My opponent comes from a good family. I think this is just a gentlemen's game.) (SunStar Philippines)