A man named Ralph Perez recently posted on his Facebook account about a taxi driver who tried to scam him. According to Perez, he rode a metered Bernadell Taxi at NAIA after getting off a midnight flight and finding that he’d have to wait until 7AM for the next bus. He said that he noticed right away that the meter didn’t look like the regular ones in most taxis, but that he thought little of it and assumed it was another model but worked the same. The driver even said that the rate would be 30 pesos per kilometer.
By the time they reached the skyway, Perez noticed that the meter was counting the distance but the price remained stuck at 44 pesos. The driver’s answer was quite hostile. Perez wrote: “Kaya nga pinaliwanag ko sa inyo bago tayo umalis eh. Kung gusto nyo bumaba na lang kayo.”
Perez agreed to just get off the taxi and asked how much he owed the driver. That was when the driver said he owed him 300 pesos per kilometer traveled. He protested against the unreasonable pricing, which only made matters worse inside the cab. In his post, Perez narrated how terrified he was of the situation:
“The whole time I was trying to open the door and I couldn’t. I couldn’t roll down the window too. I was imagining all sorts of scenarios. I didn’t want to end up in some ditch in some dark alley so I decided I should just promise to give him money by withdrawing from an atm.”
They passed by multiple ATMs but the driver did not pullover until they found one in a relatively dark and empty street. Once Perez got out, he pretended to walk to the machine and then ran towards the nearest crowd he could find. The taxi didn’t chase him and instead zoomed away.
After finding no nearby police officers, Perez hastened to a friend’s condo where he was planning to spend the night. He relates that he tried calling both 911 and 8888 but that both hotlines were not working. He also received no feedback when he tried contacting the NAIA.
It’s unfortunate that these days, this story is not one in a million. Perez said he has been contacted by others who experienced the same thing after he posted his harrowing story. After circulating on social media and being shared almost 8 thousand times, the LTFRB contacted Perez and began working on preventing the same taxi driver from scamming other people. And as of February 1, the driver has been apprehended and has admitted to the act:
You can read the full retelling of this incident here.