Uber, Grab, taxis urged: Install emergency buttons
A police official in Cebu City urged the managements of transport network vehicle services (TNVS) and taxi operators to install emergency buttons in their vehicles to alert police nearby in case of robberies.
Cebu City Police Office Investigation and Detection Management Branch (CCPO-IDMB) chief Supt. Ryan Devaras hoped to avoid incidents similar to what happened to Grab driver Gerardo Amolato Maquidato Jr., who was killed by a lone carjacker, disguised as legitimate passenger, in Pasay City last Oct. 26 before fleeing off with his vehicle, a Toyota Innova.
“I hope maka -install sila og katong push button nga emergency light, nga atong gipa -implement sauna pa. Kani makakuha og attention sa atong kapulisan nga there is something wrong sa ilang sakyanan (I hope they can install the push button with emergency light which we have been asking them to implement long before. This will get the attention of police if ever there is something wrong happening inside their vehicles),” Devaras said.
Maquidato, a father of four, was recognized by Grab as one of its exemplary drivers last year after a netizen’s post on the driver’s kindness in assisting a sick passenger without charging for the trip went viral.
His killing sent shivers down the spine of many TNVS drivers who now hope that their managements would start to implement emergency security measures for them.
“Naa g’yud ang risk. Kaning trabaho dili ta makahibaw labi na kung gwapa ug gwapo ang
mga pasahero dako g’yud ang risk (There is always a big risk. In our line of work, it is really difficult for us to gauge our passengers especially if they look decent),” said Joseph Navarro, a Grab car driver in Cebu.
According to Supt. Devaras, it was unlikely for drivers to use their cellu- lar phones to call for help in case of robbery.
An emergency button would be one of the best ways to foil criminal elements, he said.
“And then of course, kung puwede ilang pasahero ila g'yud maevaluate if naa bay possibility nga manulis ni. Kay tendency ma- fall victim sila sa atong pasahero (And then of course if possible, the drivers should evaluate their passengers if there is a possibility that they could be robbers because there is a tendency for them to fall victim to their own passengers), ” Devaras added.