Road rage suspect Vhon Martin Tanto yesterday begged the family of victim Mark Vincent Garalde for forgiveness following his arrest in Milagros, Masbate on Friday.
“Sa pamilya po ng nadisgrasya ko, sorry po talaga. Hindi ko po sinasadya iyong pangyayari,” said Tanto who was brought to the Manila Police District (MPD) headquarters.
“Sana po mapatawad ninyo ako, pati na rin sa mga galit sa ’kin, sana po bago kayo magalit intindihin niyo muna ‘yung nangyari,” he added.
Going back to what transpired that fateful Monday night, Tanto insisted that he did not mean to kill Garalde.
“Nagdilim lang po iyong pani-ngin ko. Pasensya na po kayo. Hindi ko sinasadya ‘yung pangyayari,” Tanto said.
He told reporters that he had just dropped off his pregnant wife Aneesha and their two-year-old baby after travelling from Bulacan.
Tanto said he was with his four-year-old child when he figured in a traffic altercation with Garalde on P. Casal St., Quiapo.
He claimed that Garalde was the one who challenged him for a fight following a traffic altercation.
“Nagkamurahan kami, nasa loob ako ng kotse tapos nasa labas siya. Sinabihan niya ako na kung matapang ka, lumabas ka,” Tanto recalled.
Tanto claimed that he was seriously hurt during the fistfight and almost died. “Ni-lock niya ako sa leeg, muntik akong mamatay. Makikita naman po sa CCTV iyon,” he said.
Tanto said Garalde released him from his grip after sensing that he was about to lose consciousness. He went back to his vehicle and thought the fight was over after both shook hands.
“Nakikipagkamay siya ngayon sa akin noong nakita niya ang sticker ng Philippine Army,” Tanto said.
However, Tanto said when he asked Garalde to remove the bicycle off the side of his car, another shouting match took place.
“Tanggalin mo na lang kako iyong bisikleta mo diyan na gumasgas sa kotse ko, sabi niya sa’kin, ang yabang mo. Gusto mo basagin ko iyang salamin mo?” Tanto quoted Garalde as saying.
At that point, Tanto said he lost his mind, took his gun, got out of the car and fired Garalde at close range.
Tanto, still sporting a blackeye, was presented to Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” M. dela Rosa who arrived at 7 a.m. at the MPD.
MPD director Senior Supt. Joel Coronel said Tanto will be charged with murder and frustrated murder.
Coronel said after leaving his car in Nueva Vizcaya, Tanto travelled south, probably planning to hide in Sultan Kudarat where he hails from. “He planned to travel by land and avoided all the terminals,” Coronel said on Wednesday.
Despite the charges he’s facing, Tanto said he’s happy to be in safe hands. “Masaya ako dahil nasa mabuting kamay ako, safe po ako. Ganoon po talaga. Pagbabayaran ko talaga ’yung ginawa ko pero hindi ko po ginusto ‘yun,” he said.
Aneesha, who is carrying their fourth child, said she’s relieved that his husband is already in police custody.
“Gagawin ko na lang ang lahat ng makakaya ko para buhayin ang mga anak ko,” said Aneesha whose eldest child is seven-years-old. (BETHEENA KAE UNITE)