MANILA, Philippines – A mother who brought her sick three-year-old son to Manila for treatment shared how they became victims of a “taxi spray” modus operandi.
As reported by ABS-CBN, Nerissa Catan, a resident of Dumaguete City, flew in with her son to have him checked up for his acute promyelocytic leukemia on Wednesday afternoon.
Although a friend was supposed to pick them up at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3, Catan decided to flag down a taxi instead due to the heavy traffic.
While inside the taxi, Catan began to sense something wrong when she saw the meter was turned off.
When she asked why, the driver said he was charging P100 for every kilometer or P800 in total for a trip to the Mandaluyong-Greenhills area.
As they were arguing, Catan said the driver turned the air freshener like a knob a few times.
Afterwards, Catan said she and even her son who was wearing a mask began to get dizzy.
She then asked the driver to stop the vehicle but he refused and reasoned they were on the skyway heading to Magallanes.
Fortunately, Catan kept her cool and managed to open the door, forcing the driver to stop the taxi.
While she and her son disembarked from the vehicle, the driver sped away with their belongings containing the child’s bone marrow results, valuables, and P33,000 which would have been used for his treatment and other expenses.
After receiving help from another cab driver who took them to the nearest police station, Catan revealed to the authorities that she was able to remember the taxi’s plate number: UVL-857.
She also managed to take a picture of the taxi’s interior markings which had a contact number.
For its part, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) traced the plate number to a certain Salvador Vergara of Tondo.
The agency added that while Catan has refused to file a complaint because she no longer has money, it will provide her assistance in pursuing the taxi driver.