Saturday, June 9, 2012

HPG sues 7 car firm execs over Corona SUV

Manila, Philippines - The Highway Patrol Group (HPG) filed criminal charges against seven incorporators of a firm that owns the Chevrolet Suburban used by ousted chief justice Renato Corona for alleged unlawful transferring of plate number and non-registration to the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

HPG director Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina named those charged as Reynaldo Pazcoguin, Ofelia Pazcoguin, Rodelito Biag, Leonides Pazcoguin, Nenita Biag, Lucito Santos and Mark Joseph Lopez, incorporators of Viking Haulers Inc., which owned the black bulletproof sport utility vehicle.

Espina said three counts of violating Batas Pambansa 43 were filed before the Pasig City prosecutor’s office for unlawfully transferring plate number ZEE-868 and conduction sticker numbers 01711192 and 5159187 to the Chevrolet Suburban.

Espina said the HPG-National Capital Region (NCR) also filed violation of Republic Act 6539 for not registering the Suburban since its importation in 2009 against the seven incorporators.

The HPG chief said they have impounded the vehicle in the HPG impounding area at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

The investigation and HPG’s action stemmed from a complaint of Bonifacio Gomez, owner of the Nutripharm Co. based in Cebu, that their company vehicle’s plate number, ZEE-868, was the same as the license plate number of the Suburban used by Corona last May 22 when he left the Senate premises.

In his letter of complaint, Gomez claimed he was watching the impeachment proceedings last May 22, when the chief justice took the witness stand for three hours. However, Corona later stunned the public by leaving the Senate in haste. Television footage showed Corona boarding a black SUV, its plate number clearly seen.

Gomez claimed his company acquired the L300 Mitsubishi with plate number ZEE-868 in 2006.

After receiving the complaint, Espina said he immediately ordered his men to coordinate with the LTO, which certified that the plate number ZEE-868 was assigned to a Mitsubishi vehicle and not to a Chevrolet Suburban.

“A plate number is unique and assigned to a vehicle, it’s not transferable as provided for by BP 43,” Espina added. - By Cecille Suerte Felipe