Top Gear editor sorry for accusing innocent road rage suspect
Top Gear Philippines editor Vernon Sarne has taken responsibility for naming the wrong person in a fatal road rage accident in Quiapo, Manila.
After a fatal road accident in Quiapo, Sarne posted a link of the facebook profile page of Nelson Punzalan, accusing him of killing cyclist Mark Vincent Geralde in the crash. Along with the link, the editor also posted a picture of Punzalan’s Hyundai Eon, a car similar to the one involved in the accident. However, Sarne has recanted his statement along with an apology.
‘I was responsible for posting the photo of Mr. Punzalan’s vehicle, and I realize now that I shouldn’t have done so. I accept full responsibility. This is all on me,’ Sarne said. The Top Gear editor also added that he will personally apologize to Punzalan and his family. ‘I also apologize to the followers of this page. You deserve better from us. And we will be better because of this, I promise you. Thank you for reading,’ he said.
After the post of his car’s picture and plate number accusing him of being involved in the accident circulated in the internet, Punzalan went to the National Bureau of Investigation Anti Organized and Transnational Crime Division to clear his name. After an investigation, the authorities apprehended the real suspect, an Army reservist named Vhon Tanto.
Sarne later explained that Top Gear was anonymously tipped that Punzalan’s car was the one involved in the incident. After a netizen gave Top Gear the Hyundai’s plate number, Sarne conducted an investigation and found Punzalan’s name on facebook.
Afterwards, Sarne posted the picture of Punzalan’s car and link to his facebok page. While the post had several disclaimers stating that “nothing was 100% verified,” many netizens accused Top Gear for hastily making accusations on their facebook page.