Top Gear PH Editor Apologizes for Posting Nestor Punzalan’s Hyundai as Biker Killer Suspect’s Car

Top Gear editor sorry biker killer suspect

Top Gear Philippines editor Vernon Sarne said he is sorry for posting the photo of the red Hyundai Eon of Nestor Punzalan on Facebook. The said photo immediately went viral and led to confusion after it was dubbed as the car of the the suspect who killed a biker last Monday, July 25. It was learned that the conduction sticker was wrongly identified.

“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. I will do my best to reach out to Mr. Punzalan and personally apologize to him and his family. The buck stops here. This is all my fault.” Mr. Sarne said in a statement, as quoted by GMA News.

As reported earlier, a CCTV footage video shows the driver of a red Hyundai Eon having an argument with a biker named Mark Vincent Geralde at around 9:36 pm. Shortly, the two men were had a fist fight. But around 2 minutes later, the car driver got his gun and shot the biker in the face at point blank. He shot the victim again and again even when he fell.

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The conduction sticker of the red Hyundai Eon used by the suspect was earlier identified as MO3746 which was owned by Nestor Punzalan. He immediately went to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to clear his name, saying that his car was never used during the night of the murder. The Manila Police District (MPD) later confirmed his innocence.

But because his name and photo of his car went viral, Nestor Punzalan was heavily criticized on Facebook and received threats to the point that he needed to deactivate his Facebook page. An unnamed netizen then sent a message to Top Gear Philippines Facebook page, saying that a witness confirmed that Nestor Punzalan is not the suspect.

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It turned out that the real suspect of the biker killing is Von Tanto (or Vhon Martin Tanto, aka Skyon Tonsky), and that the correct conduction sticker of the Hyundai Eon is MO3745, and not MO3746. Local authorities are now conducting a man hunt against Von Tanto.

As of posting Nestor Punzalan, who earlier said he plans to sue the person who identified him as a suspect and destroyed his reputation, has not yet released his comment on whether he has accepted Top Gear Philippines editor Vernon Sarne’s apology or not. Nevertheless, the damage has been done and there are simple lessons learned the hard way.