As top gov’t exec arranges surrender of road rage suspect, authorities vow to treat him like any other person who turns himself in
A scion of a prominent Chinese-Filipino businessman should not expect special treatment even if his surrender is facilitated by Secretary Christopher “Bong” Go, the special assistant to President Rodrigo Duterte.
David Lim Jr. will have to share a detention cell with at least 10 other inmates at the stockade of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) should his surrender push through today.
“Wala tayong special treatment dito. Lahat ay pantay-pantay (We don’t have any special treatments here. All are equal),” said Senior Supt. Joel Doria, CCPO director.
Police officials assured Lim of his safety from people who were angry at him for allegedly shooting an unarmed nurse in a fit of rage over a traffic altercation on Sunday dawn.
But Lim may not stay in detention long because the police were readying the filing of charges of frustrated homicide against him at the Cebu City Prosecutors’ Office.
A person charged with the offense can post a bail of P200,000 to secure temporary liberty while the case was being tried in court.
Secretary Go circulated a text message to reporters in Davao City about the scheduled surrender of Lim, who had been the subject of a manhunt since the video of the road rage shooting went viral on Facebook last Sunday.
Go, who was in Myanmar with President Duterte, passed on a text message from Lim’s mother who agreed to his suggestion to make her son surrender.
“Sir Bong, the family decided to follow your advice to surrender my son David Lim Jr. to the regional commander Chief Supt. Noli Taliño tomorrow (Tuesday)….Please help us facilitate his surrender and safety- Mrs Lim,” the text message, which reportedly came from Mrs. Bebong Lim, read.
When reached for comment, Taliño said that as of 8 last night, he and the Lim family had not agreed yet as to the time the young man would surrender.
But he said he was requested by Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa to coordinate with Secretary Go and arrange the surrender of Lim.
He added Go directed Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino to announce the impending surrender of David Jr.
“This is a welcome development. David Jr. has to face the consequences of what he has done. I am now talking to the family and facilitating the surrender. I assure them of the safety of David Jr. while he will be in our custody,” said Taliño in a text message to Cebu Daily News.
Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña earlier sought the help of President Duterte by sending a text message to Go after the police raids he led on Sunday night failed to find Lim who went into hiding after reportedly shooting Ephriam Montalbo Nuñal.
“Hi Bong, fyi lang, tonight I personally raided the house of David Lim, brother to Peter. His son was captured on video this morning shooting a nurse.
The judge in Cebu refused to issue a warrant of arrest and the police refused to move with no warrant until I threatened to perform the raid by myself,” Osmeña wrote.
“Please tell the President that I need help getting an arrest warrant ASAP so a hold departure order can be placed. This is beyond me na. Need help,” he added in a text message, which he posted on his Facebook page on Sunday.
Osmeña was referring to David Sr.’s older brother Peter Lim, who was thrown into the limelight recently after the President named one Peter Lim as one of the biggest drug lords in the country.
Peter Lim denied the allegation.
The next day, Go sent a text message to the mayor to inform him that Lim had been placed in the Immigration watch list.
A screenshot of the text was posted on Osmeña’s Facebook page on Monday.
“Thanks to the very quick response of Bong Go, a hold departure order is now in effect,” the mayor said in another post on Monday.
“For his own safety, I highly encourage Mr. Lim to give up. Unless he wants to spend the rest of his life hiding in Sulu, he has no future here. If he is in Cebu, we will find him,” Osmeña added.
Still in the country
Doria debunked rumors circulating in Cebu that Lim had taken a flight out of Cebu on Sunday afternoon when the shooting of the video became viral.
Doria said they checked with the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) and found that no David Lim Jr. had left Cebu from 3 a.m. Sunday up to 3 p.m. on Monday.
In his Facebook page, Osmeña also said that his friends at the BI confirmed that Lim’s passport had not been used in the past 48 hours.
Doria said it would be better for Lim to surrender since the police would not hesitate to shoot the suspect should he fight back.
The city police chief considered Lim as “armed and dangerous” since the latter had a .22 caliber gun.
“We’ll have to verify with Fessags (Firearms Explosives Security Service Agency and Guards Supervisory) to find out whether or not Lim had a license,” he said.
CDN tried to inquire from the Regional Civil Unit, formerly the Fessags, whether or not David Jr.’s firearm was licensed. But its chief clerk, SPO3 Glen Factural, said they just could not release any information without any directive from the police or the prosecutor handling the case.
Doria also asked Lim’s girlfriend, Tamae Takahashi, to cooperate in the police investigation; otherwise, she too would face the same charges as her boyfriend, warned Doria.
“For now, she is considered a ‘person of interest’ because she was present when the shooting took place. She did not do anything to help the victim and instead fled with David Jr. She is an accessory to the crime. If she cooperates with us, then she can be considered a witness,” he explained.
Doria said they had a strong case against Lim especially that the shooting was caught on video.
In the video that has gone viral on social media, Lim was seen firing his gun at least three times at Nuñal, a nurse working for the University of Cebu Medical Center. He was hit on the left thigh and right ankle.
Nuñal was following a Mercedes Benz that was crisscrossing the narrow, two-lane road on F. Sotto Street about 3 a.m. on Sunday when it stopped in the middle of the road.
A young couple went out of the vehicle and were arguing, prompting Nuñal to honk his horn to catch the attention of the driver that his vehicle was blocking the road.
But instead of moving his vehicle, the man who was later identified as Lim confronted Nuñal and kicked his Toyota Altis. Lim tried to hit Nuñal but the latter was able to evade the blow.
The suspect went back to his vehicle and fired at Nuñal before he fled on board his car with his girlfriend.
The Land Transportation Office in Central Visayas had not suspended Lim’s driver’s license.
Based on their records, LTO-7 Director Alita Pulga said one David Lim Jr. was issued a non-professional driver’s license which was valid until March 11, 2022.
Pulga said that based on their records, the plate number of Lim’s Mercedes Benz – UWI 731 – was issued to Global International Philippines with an address at Innovative Street, SBP Phase 1 Subic, Zambales.