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Though we’ve been told that Metro Manila crime rate is down, it can’t be denied that there are still a lot of criminals out and about.
For instance, there are “Akbay Gang” robbers, the ones whose signature technique is to put their arm around their victims, most often women. You see, when these criminals have their arm around their victim, they make it look like they are friends or intimate acquiantances so that other people won’t think anything is wrong.
But if people would be extra observant, they might just save a life.
This is what ‘Karen,’ an 18-year-old University student realized after finding herself in immense danger, despite being in a crowded area in Marikina City.
‘Karen’ said it was a typical day until a stranger placed his arm around her.
“A man I didn’t recognize suddenly put his arm around me and held a gun to my waist. He didn’t speak or ask for anything, he just walked while dragging me along,” she said, noting that the incident took place in Parang, Marikina, at around 6pm.
Karen said she was paralyzed by her fear that she was not even able to cry for help.
“I always wondered why people who were assaulted like that weren’t able to defend themselves when they could easily scream for help. Now I know why. I could barely make a sound or have the strength to push him away. I desperately looked into the eyes of the people passing us by to make a connection but to no avail,” she said.
The man continued to drag her while people in the vicinity remained oblivious of Karen’s ordeal.
“I was screaming, crying, and begging for help but no one could hear me. That’s what it felt like. People would look at me strangely, and for a moment I would feel saved thinking they got what I was trying to tell them only to see them look away at the last second,” she said.
They passed by two more streets. When it was apparent the man was bringing her to a dark spot, Karen hoped for a miracle.
“I was already decided on running even if that meant he’d pull the trigger and I’d be hit without a chance of surviving. Then, a group of men who looked like they were about to play basketball walked towards us. One of them suddenly said “Uy Camille, musta?” (No, I didn’t know him [and Camille is not her real name]),” she said.
“The man with his arm over me continued to drag me faster and that confirmed the guy’s suspicions that something was wrong. He then said “Teka, pare, kinakausap ko kaibigan ko” then suddenly pulled him away with two of his friends pulling me in the opposite direction,” she added, noting that she found a way to escape at that point.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News, ‘Karen’ said she was not able to thank those who helped her and that she had no idea what happened after she escaped. She and her family already sought authorities’ help.
Hers was not the first case, Karen quoted police officials as saying.
The day before ‘Karen’ reported the incident, another woman was reportedly stabbed during the “akbay” modus.
“Always be aware of your surroundings and be alert of the people around you. You might be saving not only your life, but someone else’s,” she said.
This article has been re-published with permission from ABS-CBNnews.com.