This sad account of a robbery inside a taxi was posted by a friend of Coconuts Manila. She’s asked friends to disseminate her story—but to keep her identity anonymous because the culprits have her identification cards and could easily trace her, if they wanted to.
“People have offered to help me go after the criminals, but right now I don’t have the energy for it. I’ve used a lot of energy and strength to stay focused and survive that cab ride, so now I’m easily tired. At times, drained. I’m also very frustrated with the state of public safety in the Philippines,” she says.
We hear you, friend.
There are some safety precautions you can take when boarding a taxi. You can snap a photo of the vehicle before you get in, and send it to your in case of emergency person; you can also use mobile applications to book a taxi (Easy Taxi and GrabTaxi have a database of the vehicles associated with them). For those who can afford it, there’s also Uber Taxi.
If you have other tips, do drop in a comment below.
Here is what happened:
I hailed a taxi along Chino Roces Avenue (Pasong Tamo), Makati, past 12 midnight of Aug. 9, 2014. I instructed the driver to take me to Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, via Gil Puyat Avenue (Buendia).
He drove through Chino Roces to Gil Puyat Avenue (Buendia), but turned left on Malugay Street. Sensing something was wrong, I asked him to take Jupiter. Then he declared, “Hold up ’to, huwag kang sisigaw,” while were along Centro Escolar University. Two other men got inside the taxi; one sat beside me at the backseat and placed his arms around me, the other one sat beside the driver.
I screamed and scrambled, trying to get out. Someone shouted: “Huwag kang sumigaw. Makisama ka lang, walang mangyayari sa ‘yo.”
The man in the front seat immediately got my bag and took all my cash, cards and cell phone. We drove around, and the man in front got off what I could recall might be Roxas Boulevard.
The man at the back had his arms around me all the time, commanding me to keep my eyes down at all times. He told me that if anyone sensed something, say, we pass by a checkpoint, I should tell people that he is my boyfriend.
We drove around while they coordinated with a man who withdrew money from using my ATM cards. (Investigation says withdrawals were made in PSBank Greenfield City branch.) I gave them all the pin numbers. They threatened and intimidated me, saying:
“Makisama ka lang, walang mangyayari sa ’yo.”
“Marunong ka ba mag-drive? Kinarnap lang naming ’to, hindi ko nga alam kung buhay pa ’yong driver sa likod.”
“Ma’am maraming salamat sa tulong ninyo. Huwag ka ng manghinayang. Pera lang naman ’yan, kikitain mo rin ’yan, stable naman yata trabaho mo.”
“Papababain ka namin, pero ’wag kang sisigaw, tatakbo o magsusumbong, mababaril ka.”
“Mababait naman kami, kailangan lang talaga namin. Pero siyempre bago kami masaktan, ikaw muna.”
After over an hour of driving and threatening, they released me around 2 a.m., near SM Fairview. I got off the cab, held by the man seated beside me. We were met by another man (who might have been trailing us from another vehicle, and might also be the man who did the withdrawal). He gave me money for fare after I got off the cab.
The other man, still with his arms around me, hailed an Alabang bus, and asked me to board it. Another guy got in and sat at the back, he got off Shaw Boulevard.
I got back to Makati around 3am, shaken but thankful to be alive.
I have reported the incident to Makati Police afternoon of Aug. 9, and the case is under investigation. I’ve identified the taxi as Dean Taxi ETC-818, but it has no hit in the LTO according to the police investigator handling the case.
Photo for illustration purposes only.