MANILA – After a series of stolen taxis reported and used for crimes such as rape and robbery, a transport official on Wednesday is looking into the possibility of requiring taxis to install anti-theft devices.
Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) board member Atty. Ariel Inton said that while the installation of anti-theft devices has yet to be mandatory, he urged passengers to be vigilant while travelling at night or early morning.
“A passengers who takes a taxi late at night or early in the morning should not travel alone especially when he or she thinks the taxi driver is suspicious,” Inton told the Philippines News Agency.
“They can never tell if the taxi driver is really a taxi driver or a criminal just pretending to be one,” he added.
He also urged taxi drivers and operators to immediately report to the Board incidents of car theft so the Board and law enforcement agencies can start looking for stolen vehicles and alert passengers to avoid riding them.
“Taxi drivers are made to look like they are involved in these crimes but these cases will point to us that these are not taxi drivers but criminals posing as taxi drivers,” Inton said.
“It just so happens that real taxi drivers are the first victims of these criminals pretending to be them before they victimize their second victims – the passengers,” he added.
Meanwhile, Inton assured that the Board and concerned agencies continue to seek to provide passengers with safe public transportation.
The Board is currently coordinating with concerned agencies to identify the suspect of these car theft and rape cases which seem to follow a pattern of happening on the 19th of every month since February.