Commuter claims laptop damaged after MRT-3 x-ray scanner check | Inquirer News

Commuter claims laptop damaged after MRT-3 x-ray scanner check

By: - Reporter / @FArgosinoINQ
/ 06:06 PM March 21, 2023

A commuter claims that her laptop got damaged after an MRT-3 x-ray scanner check

Source: Allana Columbres Twitter post []

MANILA, Philippines — Student and commuter Allana Columbres has claimed that her laptop got broken after her backpack went through the x-ray scanner at Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) Taft Station last March 15.

In a Twitter thread last March 20, Columbres narrated her “worst commuter experience.” This post instantly went viral and garnered mixed reactions from netizens.

“I was on the way home around 9 p.m. it was rush hour, but I made sure to be mindful of my belongings as I was carrying my laptop and other valuables with me. When it was my turn to put my bag inside the scanner after long minutes of queuing, I made sure to lay it flat,” Columbres wrote.


However, she said, a male passenger “forcefully” placed his belongings inside the scanner. This, she noted, might have caused her bag to be pushed upright which then damaged her laptop.

“[…] We all heard a loud crack, and the conveyor started moving again. I immediately checked if my laptop was okay, only to see that it had been bent, and the screen got horribly shattered,” her post reads.

Columbres told that the guards on duty at the train station just watched and reacted in a “condescending” way instead of helping her. When she tried approaching them, the student claimed the guards avoided her gaze and ignored her.

“Nakita ng mga tao I was already having a panic attack literal na umiiyak lang ako while trying to call my dad […] Hindi na po ako nakapagask ng assistance [sa office personnel] kasi ‘di ko na po kaya. So I decided to go home,” Columbres narrated.

(Everyone saw I was already having a panic attack, literally crying while trying to call my dad. I could no longer ask for office personnel’s assistance, so I went home).

Her laptop was a gift from her father, an overseas Filipino worker, last year, she said.


“This laptop is very sentimental to me kaya ingat na ingat ako dito (that’s why I handle this with caution), only for it to be destroyed because of an inconsiderate person,” she pointed out in her post.


After she got home and calmed down, Columbres sought the help of a friend – who emailed the MRT management and other concerned agencies to report what happened at MRT-3 Taft Station.

Her e-mail, however, merely received an auto-generated response and acknowledgement as a response, so Columbres decided to post her concern on social media.

“I did not want to tweet at first na-imagine ko na paano ‘yung possible ways na ma-twist ‘yung sasabihin […] na baka biglang ako ‘yung may kasalanan or may mga victim-blaming na magaganap,” she said.

(I did not want to tweet at first since people may twist what I say or turn this complaint against me.)

Columbres revealed that many people reacted to her tweet by saying that she should have been more careful with her belongings since it was rush hour when the incident happened.

“There’s a lot of people online victim-blaming me na (that) it’s mine I should be doing this and that,” she explained.

Although many netizens blamed her, Columbres said others shared similar complaints on how MRT personnel handle emergencies like hers.

“Marami pong nagrereply sa tweet ko saying they encountered the same experience. Lola daw niya nasigawan ng guard sa MRT (someone’s grandmother got shouted at by a guard in the MRT), someone’s phone got stolen, and all the guards did was blame them,” she said

Columbres clarified that she was not angry with the security guards; she was just disappointed about how they handled the situation.

“Lahat naman tayo pwede magpakita ng sympathy kahit ganun lang sana nareceive ko (We can all show some sympathy, at least if that was what I received) that would have been okay, but I felt invisible during that whole situation,” she emphasized.

Ongoing investigation

After her tweet blew up, Columbres disclosed that the MRT management messaged her on Monday,March 20, asking for details on how her laptop got broken inside the scanner.

“[Their] last message po, ‘Meron na pong investigation na ginagawa regarding this concern (There’s already an ongoing message about this concern) and we will give you an update regarding this’. This was 4 p.m. yesterday,” she revealed.


For its part, the MRT-3 management issued an apology addressed to Columbres on Tuesday evening.

“The MRT-3 has already reached out to Ms. Columbres to apologize for the unfortunate incident and the manner by which the on-duty personnel failed to act with more compassion towards her. It is MRT-3’s policy for the employees to extend utmost courtesy and tolerance to all passengers at all times,” it said in a statement.

READ: MRT-3 apologizes to commuter over laptop damage after x-ray scanner check

However, the MRT-3 management countered the student’s claims.

According to train line management, the MRT-3 station’s security footage showed Columbres placed her laptop upright and that an ample space separated her backpack from the next passenger’s belongings in the x-ray scanner.

“Moreover, MRT-3’s x-ray machine operator immediately stopped the x-ray scanner when the jam registered on the monitor to prevent a further pile-up. It was then that Ms. Columbres was able to retrieve her bag,” it said.

The management also reiterated that its stations had signs reminding passengers it would not be responsible for any damage and losses, as indicated in its train line policy on gadgets.

In response to Columbres’ concerns about its personnel, the MRT-3 management said its security provider plans to conduct a series of customer service training for all rail line personnel. It also reminded the public to be mindful of their belongings when commuting.


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