Road rage incidents have been hindering the streets of Manila for quite a significant time. With the way recent viral social media posts of altercations have shown us, most drivers in the metropolitan will have a story to tell from road-related incidents they encountered.
The 2000s, 2010s, and 2020s have their fair share of road rage incidents. However, the 1990s might prove to be worthwhile when discussing violent disputes due to road rage. Particularly a case that had once sparked public outcry but has gotten overlooked through the years.
On July 2, 1991, Eldon Maguan, a 25-year-old engineering student, was driving around Wilson Street in San Juan, Metro Manila. Wilson was said to be a one-way street, and Eldon knew about it as he was the one that followed traffic rules.
Unfortunately for Eldon, even those who profusely follow traffic regulations do not exempt them from being victims of a violent crime.
It is where then-43-year-old Rolito Go, a construction magnate, comes into this tragic story. While Eldon was minding his own business and following the street's one-way rule for vehicles, Rolito was coming from the opposite direction.
As soon as both Eldon and Rolito's vehicles came head-to-head, this infuriated Rolito. He took out his gun, went out of his vehicle, and came over to Eldon's car, and cold-bloodedly shot the innocent young man in the head.
The gruesome act committed by Rolito sparked the country's most sensational road rage incident in the 1990s.
After the shooting incident, Rolito proceeded to ride his vehicle and escape the crime scene. Fortunately, a security guard from a nearby restaurant wrote down Rolito's license plates and submitted them to the authorities.
On the other hand, Eldon was brought to the nearest hospital, where medical personnel tried their best to keep him alive. Sadly, he would only live for a few days till his eventual death on July 9, 1991, due to the injuries he sustained from the gunshot wound to his head.
Meanwhile, the investigators quickly identified that the car Rolito used during the incident belonged to his wife, Elsa Ang Go. Furthermore, reports also indicated that Rolito had an altercation with his girlfriend at a nearby bakeshop near Wilson Street.
The authorities confirmed that the perpetrator was indeed Rolito Go after clarifying it with eyewitnesses from the bakeshop and a receipt indicating Go's credit card to purchase goods from the store.
A day before Eldon's death, Rolito Go turned himself to authorities, and he was immediately detained. Initially, the Rizal provincial prosecutor planned on charging Eldon with frustrated homicide, but due to Eldon's saddening death and public outcry, the prosecutors charged Rolito Go with frustrated murder.
After two years of court hearings, the Pasig Regional Trial Court convicted Rolito Go of murder, and he was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
But the story does not end here. A few days before the court's verdict, Rolito Go, together with three other criminals, escaped the New Bilibid Prison.
Three years later, authorities found him in the province of Pampanga.
In 1999, Rolito tried the legal route of avoiding his prison sentence. He petitioned the Pasig RTC's ruling on his murder case, which the Court of Appeals affirmed. Though the Supreme Court debunked the road-rage killer's petition.
Through the years that Rolito served at the maximum and minimum security compounds, he would apply for parole from time to time, only for the government and the victim's family to reject and oppose.
In 2011, reports found out that Rolito Go was suffering from colon cancer. A known news outlet also reported that there was a time that authorities from the New Bilibid Prison would allow Rolito to get treatment outside the prison.
However, it would get messier for Rolito as there were also reports from another known news outlet that he was attempting to flee prison again after claiming that he was going out to seek treatment without the proper authorization permits.
A year later, Rolito Go would go missing once again. This time, his sister claims that he was abducted, but authorities believe otherwise. A day later, he resurfaced and was put back into prison.
He also claimed that he was kidnapped, but no further investigations were made.
In 2014, Rolito Go would attempt another ploy to get out of jail. According to him, his original prison sentence should have expired on January 31, 2013, instead of January 21, 2022. It was based on his legal team's computation citing deduction of lawful and proper allowances for colonist status, good conduct, and preventive imprisonment under RA No. 2849, which gave special compensation and modification of sentence to reward.
Two years later, the Supreme Court released Rolito Go after 20 years and eight months in prison. The high court also rejected the Bureau of Corrections' appeal.
According to speculations, Rolito Go's declining health condition could have been the major factor behind the Supreme Court's decision.
The road-rage killer also sought forgiveness from the victim's family. But he claims that it was only an accident.
“Sana maunawaan nila na ‘yung sitwasyon na nangyari sa anak nila hindi intensyon na mangyari. Actually ito aksidente 'yan."
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