The life of a Grab driver can get a little rougher than you might think. Take a recent day in the life of Reynaldo Tugade.
The 47-year-old driver had pulled up in Quezon City’s Barangay (village) Del Monte expecting to pick up just a few passengers. Unfortunately, five were waiting for him. While one was a child, rules are rules, and Grab policies say a car the size of Tugade’s can only pick up four passengers at a time, regardless of age.
That didn’t sit particularly well with Jan Jervi Mercado, 25 and Rhea Sangil, 23, who — along with two friends — allegedly beat up the driver for sticking to his guns. Spoiler alert: Mercado and Sangil were arrested on Monday for the alleged attack, thanks in large part to the fact that Tugade captured much of their confrontation in a Facebook video that’s been making the rounds this week (see below).
Quezon City Police Dept. Chief Master Sergeant Niño Castillo told Coconuts Manila in a phone interview that one of the two arrested suspects indeed booked Tugade’s Grab vehicle on that day.
Upon arriving at the suspects’ location, Tugade refused to bring Mercado and Sangil to their destination because they wanted to bring along three other companions, which, as explained above, is a violation of Grab policy, which allows only up to four passengers for smaller vehicles.
Mercado, Sangil, and their two unidentified companions then allegedly mauled Tugade for telling them to get out of the car in what they deemed to be less-than-deferential fashion. Mercado also allegedly hit the door of Tugade’s car, leaving it dented.
In the now-viral video, a furious Mercado can be seen repeatedly cursing at Tugade, claiming that he is also a Grab driver and insisting that company policy allows five people to board a vehicle if one is a child. However, a statement released by Grab on Wednesday dismissed what Mercado said.
“Grab Cars can only accommodate up to four passengers,” the company said. “Children, regardless of age, shall be counted as one passenger.”
The video also showed an unidentified woman in black challenging Tugade to hurt her. Good times.
Mercado and Sangil are currently being detained at the QCPD’s Masambong station, where they were charged with malicious mischief and physical injury. The authorities have yet to identify and arrest the two other assault suspects.
Grab has extended medical and legal assistance to the driver.
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