WITH the Christmas shopping spree on, the Philippine National Police leadership yesterday asked anew the taxi-riding public to use their cellphone cameras in snapping pictures of the plate and body numbers of the cabs they will be riding as the move is part of several precautionary measures to stop robbery-holdups being perpetrated by cabbies themselves and their cohorts in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.
“Use your cellphone cameras to help thwart crimes,” said National Capital Region Police Office director, Chief Superintendent Oscar D. Albayalde in the wake of recorded incidents of robbery-holdups involving some rogue taxi drivers who have turned robbers.
Many crime incidents in the past have been solved after the victims and witnesses recorded the plate and body numbers of taxis and other getaway vehicles used by robbers and assassins.
“Ang appeal namin sa publiko ay i-text agad ang license plate at body number ng taxi sa kanilang kaibigan o kamaganak pagsakay nila,” said Albayalde who has cited some crime incidents in the country which was solved by the police after the victims managed to remember the body number of the taxi.
Top PNP officials have appealed on taxi passengers to use their mobile phones in taking pictures of the license plates and body number located inside the taxi as soon as they take their taxi seats.
According to Albayalde, he has ordered NCRPO personnel manning strategic checkpoints in the metropolis to keep a tight watch not only on motorcycle drivers but also on taxi drivers and see to it that their registration papers and driver’s licenses are in order.
PNP chief, Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa, expressed confidence that the public will heed their appeal noting some incidents wherein some taxi drivers have robbed their female passengers either at gunpoint or knifepoint. Police have made many arrests in connection with these cases.
The PNP chief urged the taxi-riding public to take all necessary security precautions each time they board a cab. He also advised the public to memorize police hotlines and the DILG Patrol 117 which they can always call in times of emergency.
For his part, Police-Community Relations Group director, Senior Supt. Gilbert DC Cruz, also asked the public to remember the following while in the taxi.
1. Let your family and friends know the information about the taxi you are hiring/riding: the plate number, taxi name, taxi number, etc.
2. Always make it a point to text or call friends and family members about the name and plate number of the taxi you are riding.
3. If something seems wrong, get off the taxi.
4. Stick to your routes. Be wary of the so-called short cuts.
5. Avoid sleeping inside the taxi.
According to Cruz, they are releasing a series of public advisories as they gear up for another massive security program to ensure the safety and protection of the general public these coming Christmas and New Year festivities.
He also encouraged victims to report immediately to the police any crimes for immediate response and resolution especially with the advent of Yuletide season.