Missing Grab driver found dead in Rizal condo unit

Photo: Maria Cristina Palanca/FB
Photo: Maria Cristina Palanca/FB

A Grab driver who went missing was found dead in a condominium unit in Cainta, Rizal province on Sunday.

Police said yesterday that the body of Maria Cristina Palanca was found at around 4pm on Sunday under a sink of a condominium unit in San Andres Village, Radyo Inquirer reported. She had a plastic bag on her head and her body was already decomposing, according to ABS-CBN News.

The victim’s body was found after tenants complained of a foul smell coming from the unit, Radyo Inquirer reported.

According to the police investigation, Palanca brought one last passenger to Pasig City from a Mandaluyong City mall on May 23, Thursday. From there, she went to the condominium building by herself and then entered the unit of a certain Paolo Largado, according to the CCTV footage.

Largado is the police’s primary suspect.

Cainta police said that the victim and the suspect knew each other, GMA News’ Balitambayan reported. After an hour, the CCTV footage shows that only Largado was seen leaving the unit. He also took Palanca’s car.

The victim’s car cannot be traced through Grab’s GPS.

Police Lt. Col. Alvin Consolacion, the Cainta police chief, said that Largado should get out of hiding and explain what happened to the victim, ABS-CBN News reported.

Meanwhile, Grab Philippines president Brian Cu said in a statement on Saturday that they are implementing more security measures for their drivers’ safety. Apart from Palanca, two other Grab drivers were also reported missing in April.

“It is saddening that there are people using our platform to victimize driver[s] who are just making a decent living,” Cu said in Filipino.

They have deactivated around 350,000 dubious passenger accounts. There is also a passenger verification feature which requires new app users to register through their credit or debit cards or a selfie.

The app also has an emergency button for drivers, which can be found on the Share My Location feature in the Grab Driver app.

Police are still looking for the suspect.

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