POLICE would press charges against the man who drove the truck that caused the death of Bukidnon provincial election officer Stalin Baguio in Sitio Patag, Barangay Bagontaas, Valencia City on Friday.
Lt. Col. Surki Sereñas, Valencia city police chief, said they were able to locate and apprehend the suspect, a resident of Barangay Bangcod, in Malaybalay City.
But he said police would only name the suspect after appropriate charges have already been filed against him. The case would be filed today.
He said the suspect was identified through CCTV footage and eyewitnesses’ accounts.
“We will be filing criminal case against him for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and damage to property,” he added.
Based on police report, Baguio was driving a Toyota Fortuner with his subordinate Lee Marvin Rapirap when a rock dislodged from a truck coming from the opposite direction hit the driver’s side of the front windshield on Friday morning.
The rock smashed through the windshield and hit Baguio in the face causing his eventual death. He was brought to the hospital but died while inside an emergency room.
Sereñas said the driver told investigators he was unaware that the accident was caused by a dislodge rock from his truck.
“He told us he did not stop because he did not know what happened,” Sereñas said.
He said the truck presumably came from one of the quarrying sites in Barangay Sugod, Valencia.
When confronted by police, the driver at first denied it was the rock from his truck that caused a vehicular accident as he even saw Baguio’s SUV on the side of the road after the incident, Sereñas said.
But, Sereñas added, when they showed the driver the CCTV footage, he admitted that it was the truck he was driving where the rock that hit the windshield of Baguio’s vehicle came from.
Lawyer Renato Magbutay, Commission on Elections (Comelec) director for Northern Mindanao, said, “We lost a good man today.”
“Atty. Baguio was a hardworking, competent and dependable supervisor; a God-fearing, patient and loving man who always chose to see the good in everyone. His loss will be immensely felt by everyone he has touched,” Magbutay said.
“Truly, he is a great loss to [Comelec] Region X and the whole Commission in general,” the regional director added.
Baguio’s body was brought a funeral home in Cagayan de Oro.
Baguio served as Cagayan de Oro’s election supervisor from 2001 to 2007. He was responsible for cracking down on about 20,000 “flying voters” and removed them from the Comelec’s master list, according to former senator and past city mayor Aquilino Pimentel Jr.. (Jigger Jerusalem)