File photo of Grab driver-partner Gerardo 'Junjie' Maquidato Jr.
MANILA, Philippines — The three passengers of Gerardo “Junjie” Maquidato Jr. are thankful that there was a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera in the area where they got off before the Grab driver-partner was slain in Pasay City Thursday night.
Otherwise, the passengers could have been pinned as suspects as there would be no other evidence to support their claim that they had nothing to do with Maquidato’s death.
According to alias “Jon,” one of the three aircon technicians who booked the silver Toyota Innova car driven by Maquidato from their workplace in San Juan to Doña Noneng Street in Pasay, a policeman allegedly forced him to admit to the crime, claiming that the other passenger already did.
“Sabi ng pulis na isa.. umamin ka na, umamin na ‘yong isa,” said Jon in an interview with News5 on Tuesday, Oct. 31, after he and his companions were invited by the Pasay police to execute affidavits and clear their names of involvement in the killing.
“Sabi ko, wala naman kaming kasalanan…ba’t ako aamin [I said, we didn’t do anything wrong so why would we admit to it],” he added.
The second aircon technician alias “Ron,” said they were lucky that the village where they live has a CCTV camera, otherwise they would already be considered as suspects.
“Pasalamat din sa barangay namin na may CCTV..kung wala, p’wede talaga kaming maging suspek,” Ron said.
It was past 9 p.m. of Oct. 26 when Maquidato was last seen alive while he was driving the car on Noneng Street with his three aircon technician-passengers, based on the CCTV footage.
The video shows the car stopping to unload the three passengers. The first passenger is seen getting off the vehicle before it is driven again by Maquidato and the car stops again to unload the two other passengers, who alight from the Innova and walk.
The footage then shows the vehicle leaving Brgy. Noneng, also capturing its plate number TV 7169.
According to the third passenger, alias “Bobby,” he and his co-workers were able to talk to Maquidato while he was driving them home.
“Maayos naman, mabait, mahinahon magsalita. Hindi ko nga in-expect na ‘yon mangyayari sa kanya…after na ibinaba kami n’ya kami, tinuruan ko pa s’ya kung saan dadaan,” said Bobby.
[He was okay, he was kind and spoke calmly. I wasn’t expecting that would happen to him…I even taught him where to go after he unloaded us.]
Bobby said that when Maquidato heard them speaking in Bisaya, he joined them in their conversation and asked them where exactly in the Visayas did they come from. Bobby said Maquidato told them he was a Boholano.
Bobby noticed that Maquidato was texting somebody before he unloaded them. “May naririnig akong text, sa cellfone na ginamit, sa Waze, parang may nare-receive s’yang messages. Hindi ko lang pinapansin.”
Daniel Recasio, captain of Pasay’s Brgy. 39, Zone 5, said he knew the three aircon technicians, whom he described as “kind people.”
“Mga nagtatrabaho ‘yan d’yan sa mga aircon…Mga mababait naman ‘yan,” he said.
WATCH NEWS5’S VIDEO REPORT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiBVvO2Mjx0&feature=youtu.be