Cab driver, pal in ‘ipit taxi’ operation nabbed in Quezon CityBy Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A cab driver and his companion were nabbed over the weekend for allegedly molesting a female passenger after they robbed her of her belongings while inside a cab in Quezon City.
Salvador Fulloso, 40, was arrested at his house in Barangay (village) Batasan Hills while Pablito Manatag, 38, was apprehended a few hours later in Cogeo, Rizal province.
They underwent inquest proceedings for robbery and acts of lasciviousness at the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office on Sunday night, said Superintendent Reynaldo Ramirez, chief of the Quezon City Police District’s Special Operations Unit.
A 23-year-old clinic aide had earlier complained that she was victimized by robbers who used the “ipit taxi” modus operandi, during which robbers would barge into a taxi in connivance with the driver and rob unsuspecting passengers.
The victim claimed that Fulloso and Manatag, together with a third still unidentified suspect, fondled her while threatening her at knife point.
“She was told to surrender her possessions or she would be raped or, worse, killed,” said team leader Chief Inspector Reynante Parlade, who headed the arresting team.
The inquest prosecutor recommended a bail of P12,000 each for the lasciviousness charge and P100,000 each for the robbery charge for the provisional liberty of the suspects.
The incident happened late Friday night while the victim was riding a Celynn Transport cab driven by Fulloso.
The complainant said she boarded the cab in Greenhills, San Juan City, and asked to be brought to her home in Sta. Mesa, Manila.
At the corner of Aurora Boulevard and Araneta Avenue, two men suddenly boarded the cab and demanded at knife point that she turn over her belongings to them.
The victim was forced to give up P1,500 in cash, a cell phone, jewelry and other belongings valued at P40,000.
At one point, Fulloso even switched places with Manatag who took over the wheel, the police report said.
“The suspects molested her while driving on for nearly an hour before they dropped her off near Betty Go-Belmonte Street,” Parlade said.
The victim, who took note of the taxi’s license plate, sought the help of police the following day.
Parlade said the dispatcher of Celynn Transport confirmed that the taxi in question was theirs and that Fulloso, who had been their employee for eight years, was on duty at the time.
Fulloso pointed to Manatag as his accomplice when he was arrested in his house on Saturday. Police are still hunting for a third suspect, known only as “Boboy Katawan” or “Hero.”