The owner of the vehicle that had been linked to a fatal road-rage incident caught on CCTV in Quiapo on Monday night has gone to the National Bureau of Investigation to clear his name.
Nestor Punzalan stepped forward and presented himself to the NBI to deny involvement in the incident, GMA News reported. Punzalan said it wasn't him that was shown shooting the victim in the video, adding that the conduction sticker number that the authorities had been using to track the suspect was wrong.
Earlier news reports described the vehicle in the video as a red Hyundai Eon with conduction sticker number MO-3746.
With this information, netizens launched an online manhunt. Top Gear Philippines, for its part, contacted Hyundai Philippines and sought the Korean carmaker's help in identifying the owner of said Eon. The company politely declined and said it preferred to submit such sensitive information to the investigating authorities.
Needless to say, it didn't take long before someone managed to track down the owner of the Eon with the reported conduction sticker number. One of the netizens who first uploaded a link to Punzalan's Facebook account told TopGear.com.ph that he had asked a friend to cross-check the conduction sticker number reported in the news. He said Punzalan’s name came up, prompting him to do a search on Facebook, where he saw Punzalan’s account with a cover photo featuring the exact same vehicle and conduction sticker described in the news.
Because of this, Punzalan’s Facebook account—which has since been deactivated—went viral after netizens had identified him as the owner of the vehicle shown in the CCTV footage. Top Gear posted the photo of the car on their Facebook page together with a link to Punzalan's Facebook page, adding that nothing was 100 percent verified.
Shortly after their post, an individual who declined to be identified told Top Gear that there was an error in the initial information about the conduction sticker, and that it was actually MO-3745. Again, we can't verify this to be correct.
As of this writing, authorities have yet to issue an official statement regarding the incident.
This story originally appeared on Topgear.com.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Fhm.com.ph editors.