Richard Gutierrez charged

PHILIPPINES NEWS SERVICE — The Department of Justice approved the indictment of popular television and movie actor Richard Gutierrez for the death of a companion during a road accident in Cavite last May.

Prosecutors found probable cause to charge Gutierrez with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide for the death of his personal assistant Nomar Pardo.

The DoJ said all elements of the charge of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide are present in the case, including “inexcusable lack of precaution on the part of the offender.”

The complaint was filed by Pardo’s widow Lorayne.

“Evidence proffered by the complainant clearly shows that respondent (Gutierrez) drove his car grossly in excess of what is allowed by law,” the resolution approved by Cavite Provincial Prosecutor Emmanuel Velasco said.

The DoJ used as basis police and traffic reports on the vehicular accident that took place at around 1:30 a.m. on the Sta. Rosa – Tagaytay Road.

“Considering that Sta. Rosa – Tagaytay Road is a national highway, the maximum speed set by R.A. 4136 is merely 80 kilometers per hour. Looking at the pictures of the wreckage, this office could not help but conclude that the car was driven way above 80 kph. If it were otherwise, the car would not have sustained such damage as it did,” prosecutors explained.

They pointed out that the site of the incident was a curve, which should have prompted a prudent driver to slow down. “But in this case evidence clearly showed that the respondent did not exercise proper prudence and slow down as he approached the curve way.”

“The distance of the car to the point of impact, the broken trees and broken Meralco post all point to the fact that the respondent was reckless and negligent while driving that night,” they added.

Prosecutors clarified that the filing of the case in court does not necessarily mean that Gutierrez is already guilty. They said the discovery of probable cause only means that there was ample evidence to charge him and it will be up to the court to determine his guilt.

During preliminary investigation, Gutierrez said he exercised due diligence at the time of the accident. He claimed that it was an accident for which he could not be faulted.