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Cyclist in viral road rage incident 'depressed' due to pressure; QC police chief resigns for presscon with ex-cop

By NICK GARCIA Published Aug 30, 2023 6:17 pm

The cyclist whom an ex-cop pulled out a gun to in a viral road rage incident in Quezon City reiterated that he's not pressing charges—even as the incident, he noted, gave him depression.

ABS-CBN News on Aug. 30 shared a screenshot of the message from the cyclist, who remains anonymous. He said he already patched things up with Wilfredo Gonzales, and that they've supposedly talked thoroughly, parted ways properly, shook hands, and hugged each other after the fact.

The cyclist said the police bore witness to his proper conversation with Gonzales, and it was his own decision to no longer file a case against the latter.

He assured the public that no money is involved, noting no amount can cover the stress his family had been through.

The cyclist's message sent to ABS-CBN News.

He dismissed speculations that certain entities intimidated him, saying he just wanted peace as the incident is depressing and pressuring.

He asked everybody for understanding and that his decision be respected.

The cyclist's statement echoes his previous message to lawyer Raymond Fortun, who was among the first users who helped bring national attention to the incident. In their exchange, which Fortun posted on social media on Aug. 27, the cyclist said he is not filing any charges against Gonzales as his family doesn't want to.

In the viral video, Gonzales is seen getting out of his car while having a heated exchange with the cyclist who cut his lane along Welcome Rotonda at the boundary of Manila and Quezon City. The incident, which happened on Aug. 8, quickly escalated as the ex-cop hit the cyclist’s helmet and immediately drew out a gun and cocked it.

On Aug. 27, Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Brig. Gen. Nicolas Torre III held a press conference wherein Gonzales told the media that he "regrets" whipping out his gun, but urged social media users and vloggers to be “responsible” in sharing content online, especially since he was put in a bad light.

Three days later, on Aug. 30, Torre apologized for holding the presscon, which he previously said was brought about by the clamor from the media and later drew backlash from the public.

"I really regret that press conference. I really regret that deeply. I apologize to the Filipino people for those actions because those are decisions made in a very short span of time," ABS-CBN News quoted Torre as saying during a TeleRadyo Serbisyo interview.

"In hindsight, we have 20/20 vision. I could have done it better with the same result pero nangyari na," the head of QCPD added.

Later that day, Philippine National Police chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. announced that Torre had filed his resignation over the incident. Acorde said that the matter has yet to be discussed with Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte and Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos. 

Torre, for his part, told ABS-CBN News that he does not have the "liberty to divulge" the matters they would be discussing with Belmonte.

Prior to Torre's resignation, several government agencies condemned Gonzales' act, with Belmonte last urging the cyclist to come forward as the local government will extend legal assistance and protection.

The Philippine National Police revoked Gonzales’s license to own and carry a firearm following the incident.

The Land Transportation Office also issued a show cause order against him while also temporarily suspending his driver's license.

Sen. JV Ejercito, who's a cyclist himself, also filed a Senate Resolution seeking an inquiry into the incident in aid of legislation.

Fortun, meanwhile, on Facebook said he's filing a complaint for the revocation of the ex-cop's gun licenses and driver's license. This is in addition to suing him "for conduct unbecoming of a public officer" and asking the Senate and Congress "to conduct an investigation in aid of legislation to consider the crafting of new laws or amend existing ones to deter similar road rage incidents and make our country’s streets safer."