DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/20 May) – The bus driver blamed for the May 13 vehicular accident that killed journalist and UP Professor Lourdes “Chit Estella” Simbulan in Quezon City surrendered May 19 to Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Simbulan was in a cab rammed from behind by a bus of the Universal Guiding Star Bus Company driven by Danilo Espinosa, as it was cruising the Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City, early evening of May 13.
The taxi driver survived.
“Natatakot ako na mamatay ako roon kaya ako umuwi sa kapatid ko dito sa Davao noong Martes,” (I was afraid I would be killed there so I sought refuge in my sister’s house), Espinosa said.
He said he was prompted to surrender because he was deeply bothered by his conscience and was concerned with the welfare of his family.
Duterte, a government prosecutor before he was appointed OIC vice mayor in 1986, phoned lawyer Salvador Panelo in Manila, requesting him to provide legal assistance to the driver.
Espinosa was turned over to the custody of Senior Superintendent Rene Aspera, city police director.
Duterte instructed Aspera to transport Espinosa to the Quezon City police by plane, accompanied by a police escort and a relative.
Estella was a trustee of VERA Files, a group of investigative journalists. She taught at the UP College of Mass Communications.
She also served as managing editor of The Manila Times and was editor in chief of the Pinoy Times. (MindaNews)