THE Philippine National Police leadership headed by Director General Ricardo C. Marquez yesterday gave women and students safety tips while riding a taxi.
The safety reminder was issued anew in the after-math of an incident in which two men were accused of raping the two female passengers whom they also robbed inside their ‘colorum’ van in Quezon City on the night of June 10 on EDSA.
The Quezon City Police District headed by Chief Superintendent Edgardo G. Tinio has declared the case as “solved” following the arrest of two suspects who confessed to the crime after being positively identified by at least four of their female victims. One of the suspects identified as Alfie Turado, 24, was shot and killed by a QCPD cop when he grabbed the gun of another officer Friday.
Marquez said these reminders will not only be helpful to the concerned individuals and their families but also help authorities track down criminals specifically members of the ‘Ipit-Taxi’ gang or holdup men for acting in cahoots with rogue taxi drivers. These are the robbers who will suddenly board an occupied taxi and squashed in the bewildered passenger before robbing the victim at gunpoint or at knife-point while pretending they are all known to eachother.
The PNP already has its Project SAFE Kam which utilizes Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras installed in known crime-prone areas in Metro Manila. The program called for the installation of CCTV cameras in so-called safe taxi zones in different parts of the metropolis to monitor commuters hailing cabs. The measure is aimed at easily identifying the license plate number and the face of the driver and passenger in cases of crimes and incidents involving taxis.
As a basic rule, the passenger must ask the driver to lock all doors of the vehicle so that others cannot open it from outside. This will also help prevent petty thieves from opening the door of the taxi and grabbing the mobile phone or any valuables of the passenger.
PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Wilben Mayor said taxi riders should always make text or call friends and family members about the name, plate number and taxi number of the taxi you are riding. In the recent Q.C. robbery-rape case, the QCPD made a breakthrough in their investigation after the victims identified the plate no.-ALA-6980-of the suspects’ van. The license plate was also captured on security cameras, said QCPD official, Supt. Rodel Marcelo.
Information source: People’s Tonight and People’s Journal, June 21, 2016 issue.
Image credit: NVT