Road rage victim says
As trial of the Cebu road rage shooting case looms, the victim and his family have dismissed the possibility of entering into an amicable settlement with David Lim Jr.
“We are not even talking about that (settlement). At this point in time, our primary concern is the safety of my client, his family and the witnesses,” lawyer Mundlyn Misal-Martin told Cebu Daily News yesterday.
Martin, the legal counsel of Ephraim Nuñal, said Lim must instead face the charges filed against him in court.
The Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday indicted Lim and charged him with frustrated homicide and illegal possession of ammunitions before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in relation to the shooting and wounding of Nuñal following a traffic altercation along F. Sotto Street in Barangay Kamputhaw, Cebu City, at around 3 a.m. of March 19, a Sunday.
Lim, a scion of one of the wealthiest families in Cebu City, however, was released from police custody after he posted a total of P144,000 bail in court to secure temporary liberty pending the resolution of the charges filed against him.
While settlement among parties is allowed by the court, Martin said it is the least of their concerns.
“He surely can afford millions and even billions of pesos just to buy out my client. But we have, so far, not entertained the thought of settling the issues with the accused,” she said.
Earlier, Lim’s legal counsel, lawyer Orlando Salatandre, hinted at the possibility of entering into a settlement with the victim.
“Settlement is encouraged to unclog dockets in our courts. The parties are not prevented from doing it. Of course, we’re open to it,” he said on Tuesday.
As Lim was released on bail last Thursday, Martin said her client expressed fear that the accused might get back at him.
She appealed for continuous police protection, and if possible, to extend it to the victim’s family.
Nuñal, a nurse, is still confined at a private hospital while recuperating from gunshot wounds on his left thigh and right ankle inflected by Lim.
Two policemen are assigned to secure him.
Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña had expressed intent to let SPO1 Adonis Dumpit, a sharpshooter who served as his bodyguard, secure Nuñal.
However, Senior Supt. Joel Doria, director of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), said Dumpit has other work to do at the Carbon Police Station where the widely known policeman is currently assigned.
Martin said she hoped that there would no longer be any harm that would befall on Nuñal or his family.
“I hope he (Lim) was able to learn a valuable lesson out of what happened. I hope he will not resort to any violent act to any person, especially to my client,” she said.
Martin, the incoming president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines’ Cebu Province Chapter, also called on Lim’s girlfriend, Tamae Takahashi, to come out in the open to shed light on the road rage controversy involving Lim and Nuñal.
Takahashi, in her 20s, was with Lim, 28, when the latter shot an unarmed Nuñal as seen in a video footage from a dashboard camera of a car which was in the area when the incident happened.
The Filipino-Japanese woman tried to pacify Lim but hurriedly fled with the latter on board a car shortly after Lim shot Nuñal, the video showed.
“If she (Takahashi) is not hiding anything, and if her conscience is clear, then why are you hiding? Come out and clear your name. You are your own person and entitled to your own destiny. You’re certainly not a shadow of another person,” Martin said.
Takahashi was charged along with Lim before the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office last Tuesday.
She was particularly cited for violating Article 275 or the Revised Penal Code, which penalizes anyone who “fail to render assistance to any person in danger of dying, when he can render such assistance without detriment to himself.”
Based on the police investigation, Takahashi did not do anything to help the victim and instead fled with Lim.
Police rule out arrest
Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), said Takahashi’s lawyer, a certain Attorney Mendoza, met with him and vowed to present his client whenever ordered by the court.
Taliño said the police could no longer make a warrantless arrest on Takahashi as provided under the law.
Section 5, Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure states that law enforcers or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person for the following reasons:
When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing or is attempting to commit an offense;
When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; and When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another.
“We could no longer conduct a hot pursuit operation because the reglementary period has already lapsed. A case, nonetheless, was already filed against Takahashi. And her lawyer promised to present Takahashi if needed by the court,” Taliño said.
At around 2 a.m. on Tuesday, Lim, accompanied by his mother and lawyer, turned himself over to Taliño after he was being pursued by the police over the road rage shooting incident.
Lim was detained at the CCPO stockade for two days before he posted bail on Thursday.
RTC Branch 6 set the arraignment on Lim’s frustrated homicide case on April 11, while Branch 9 scheduled the proceedings on the illegal possession of ammunition charge on April 24.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.