TIMELINE: The hit-and-run near Redemptorist Church
CEBU CITY, Philippines — For the past few days, every Cebuano’s attention has been glued on the tragic hit-and-run incident along Queen’s Road, near the Redemptorist Church in uptown Cebu City last February 4.
It claimed the life of 23-year-old Jesral Uriel Larumbe, a former most-valuable player (MVP) of Cebu’s biggest inter-collegiate basketball association.
Recently, authorities filed cases against the driver, identified as Aaron Karl Tan, accused of bumping into Larumbe’s motorcycle and leaving him to die on the road.
The motive was road rage.
From the day when the tragedy occurred up to identifying the suspect, here’s a timeline of how it happened, according to findings from police investigations.
February 4 – Road rage
On the morning of February 4, Larumbe and Tan were driving along Gorordo Avenue. Heading towards different directions, the two met at an intersection at the corner of F. Sotto Drive, which is near the Redemptorist Church.
When the traffic light turned green at the intersection, Tan proceeded but Larumbe’s motorcycle reportedly hit his SUV.
The two motorists reached Queens Road where Tan allegedly tried to overtake Larumbe and block his way. As a result, the basketball player lost control of his motorcycle, and fell with his head hitting the rear bumper of Tan’s vehicle.
February 4 – Aftermath
The crime reportedly took place past 5 a.m., with authorities confirming later on that the victim was Larumbe.
Around 6:30 a.m., based on CCTV footage and witness accounts, Tan parked his SUV on Cabajar Street in Brgy. Guadalupe, Cebu City.
However, it can be recalled that Tan’s identity and involvement were only confirmed days after the hit-and-run happened.
It sparked an uproar on social media, following initial reports that the vehicle responsible apparently belonged to a very important person (VIP) after some witnesses claimed that it had its blinkers on.
Family members and friends of the dead athlete immediately called for justice.
Larumbe was a two-time Most Valuable Player (MVP) and two-time champion under Batch 2017 in the Don Bosco Cebu Alumni Basketball League (DBCABL).
Surveillance footage from a nearby establishment recorded and captured a gray SUV speeding right beside Larumbe. Unfortunately, the video failed to show the vehicle’s license plate clearly.
In the meantime, police continue to verify reports that the car responsible allegedly belonged to a VIP.
At Plaza Sugbo, where the Cebu City Government holds its flag-raising ceremony every Monday, a furious Mayor Michael Rama slammed those who linked him in the hit-and-run.
Rama, speaking before the employees of the city government, denied rumors that the vehicle responsible for Larumbe’s death allegedly belonged to his office.
The mayor also vowed the city would help identify and arrest the erring driver. He also planned on filing cases against those who accused him.
Investigators managed to gather more information about the vehicle, most of which came from closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras.
They revealed, and finally confirmed, that the car involved did not belong to any government officials or agencies. In fact, it bore a private license plate number.
It was a gray Mazda CX-9 and police also confirmed that the SUV did have blinkers and sirens.
A day after confirming the vehicle’s description, police recovered the SUV itself.
In addition, they already contacted its owner and secured leads as to the driver who took it to uptown Cebu City on the morning of February 4.
The owner, Tan, who requested not to reveal his identity during an interview with members of the press, denied any involvement. He also claimed that a female friend borrowed his car that day, and possibly the driver responsible.
Authorities filed murder charges against the owner of the SUV despite his claims that he was not the one behind the wheel when it hit Larumbe’s motorcycle.
According to investigators, they had sufficient evidence to pin him as the perpetrator. But they did not reveal Tan’s name at this point.
Police requested national government agencies to issue a hold-departure order against Aaron Karl Tan, the owner of the SUV and whom they accused as the driver responsible for the death of Larumbe.
They also revealed the identity of the driver, based on the cases they filed before the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office.
Investigators tagged Tan as the prime suspect and pointed to road rage as the motive.
As of this writing, Tan remains free as police wait for the court to release a warrant of arrest against him.
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