A Maserati-driving businessman has been accused of mauling a traffic officer in Manila.
Mr Joseph Russel Ingco went on national TV on Friday, saying he felt forced to explain his side of the incident which triggered a wave of anger on social media.
He was caught on video holding a traffic officer by his shirt - through the window of his car - and dragging him along the road.
The officer had flagged him down for a traffic violation, AFP reported.
The video, shot by a fellow traffic officer, drew the ire of the country's Facebook and Twitter mobs, and prompted city authorities to put up a 100,000-peso (S$3,000) reward for information on the businessman's whereabouts.
Social media users vilified Mr Ingco, calling him a "road bully" and "liar".
"This shows that social media can be a tool for justice," Mr Francis Tolentino, head of a government body that manages traffic in Manila, told AFP yesterday.
Mr Ingco told GMA television that he and his family had been threatened: "I am afraid for my safety. "
He admitted to punching the traffic aide, but said it was only to loosen the officer's grip on his shirt collar.
He also claimed the aide punched him, although he had no visible bruises on his face.
His victim, Mr Jorbe Adriatico, had to undergo surgery yesterday to repair a broken nose. "I still can't sleep. The incident keeps playing in my head," he told ABS-CBN television.
Police filed an assault complaint against Mr Ingco before city prosecutors, who will decide if he is to stand trial. No arrest warrant has been issued.
Mr Tolentino vouched for the traffic aide's credibility, saying Mr Adriatico had so far served an exemplary six years with the traffic bureau and was cited by police for helping arrest street criminals.
Mr Tolentino said the video of the incident "affirms the truthfulness" of the traffic aide's statement.
He added that he would help Mr Adriatico pursue charges against Mr Ingco and would oppose possible attempts at a settlement.
This article was first published on Nov 30, 2014.
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