Calls for justice mount for elderly hit-and-run victim in Parañaque

September 27, 2022 - 12:59 PM
Hit and run Paranaque
A screengrab of a video featuring a hit-and-run victim in Parañaque City as reposted by James Deakin on his Facebook page on Sept. 24, 2022. It is reportedly credited to DZRH News. (Facebook/james.deakin)

Trigger Warning: Mentions of graphic violence 

“We want accountability.”

This was what transport vlogger James Deakin said after learning of reports that an elderly street sweeper in Parañaque City got run over by a sports utility vehicle on September 24.

The victim, 63-year-old Doreen Bacus, was reported to be collecting trash at the corner of the Elizalde and Aguirre Avenues in Barangay BF Homes when a white Mitsubishi Pajero hit her around 7:30 a.m. of that day.

Instead of stopping, the vehicle continued to drive over her body and then proceeded to turn to an intersection.

Southern Police District Director Brig. Gen. Kirby John Kraft identified the driver as 42-year-old Raymond Zaparain, a resident of nearby Las Piñas City.

Zaparain was arrested and is facing a complaint of reckless imprudence resulting in serious physical injury.

Bacus, meanwhile, was immediately rushed by concerned citizens to the Ospital ng Parañaque. She was transferred to the Philippine General Hospital for further treatment.

Parañaque City Police Chief Col. Rene Ocampo said that her condition was “not good” as of Saturday.

“Hindi maganda lagay niya. Sabi ng mga anak niya… na-deform iyong isang tenga,” he said to ABS-CBN News.

Ocampo also said that Zaparain claimed he was not under any influence during the incident.

“According to him, puyat siya at nag po-phone kaya ‘di niya napansin [ang biktima]. Pero nevertheless, nag-request na tayo ng physical at medical [examinations],” he added.

David Gamboa, one of the witnesses, claimed that when he confronted Zaparain to ask why the latter didn’t stop his vehicle, the driver said: “I wasn’t aware.”

“Paabutin natin sa Parañaque LGU [local government unit], BF Homes community, and to concerned departments. We have to make sure this guy will never hurt anyone again,” Gamboa said on his post.

Reports note that the suspension of Zaparain’s driver’s license has already been approved.

The suspect is also set to report to the Land Transportation Office‘s National Capital Region branch on Tuesday for further investigation on why his vehicle and license should not be revoked for violating rules.

A video of the incident also went viral and caught several personalities’ attention, including James, who demanded accountability.

“Heartless and evil. This is what happens when you don’t prosecute previous offenders, like the SUV driver in Mandaluyong,” he said on Facebook, referring to the case of Jose Antonio Sanvicente.

“You can’t tell me this was an accident. Seems like he goes out of his way to hit her. And even if it was negligence. Why drive off like that?” James added.

When James found out that Zaparain has been arrested, he updated his post to include the following:

“Let’s see what happens next. Sana hindi presscon [press conference] lang. We want accountability,” James said.

Other personalities also took it to social media to express their reactions.

Actress Nadine Lustre claimed the justice system was “flawed” and shared her doubts that the case would be handled accordingly.

“Not buying the whole ‘unaware’ BS. Mararamdaman mo naman siguro kung may nabangga ka,” she tweeted.

Broadcast journalist Karen Davila called on the public to “help” Bacus following the hit-and-run.

“Atrocities like this need to stop and the victim, Lola Doreen, needs our help,” she said on Instagram.

“I weep for this street sweeper and her family. I hope she gets the justice she deserves,” model-TV host Kelly Misa wrote.

“OMG man… how can somebody do this…” actor-model Daniel Matsunaga said with several angry emojis.

A hit-and-run case in another city

A similar case also happened last June, when Sanvicente’s vehicle—also an SUV—ran over an individual working on the streets.

The victim was security guard Christian Floralde who was manning traffic at an intersection near a mall in Mandaluyong City.

Sanvicente did not stop when he hit Floralde and continued to drive his vehicle forward, leaving the latter with severe injuries that left him in an intensive care unit for days.

The police also gave Sanvicente a chance to appear at a media conference, where his parents were spotted doing “mano” and handshake gestures with the then-acting police chief.

The driver’s treatment was criticized by some social media users, comparing the cops’ treatment of him to other Filipinos such as protesters.

Sanvincente recently pleaded not guilty to a case of frustrated homicide filed against him.

A pre-trial is scheduled on October 4.