Cops helpless as jeepney holdup cases rise along Chino Roces, Makati
MANILA, Philippines — How rampant and brazen are robberies inside public utility jeepneys plying Chino Roces Avenue in Makati City nowadays?
The barangay (village) offices and police precincts have no consolidated statistics to show but the story of a Philippine Daily Inquirer employee witnessing two cases in two consecutive weeks was enough telling sign.
Cipriano Frias, a 48-year-old library assistant at the Philippine Daily Inquirer main office located on Chino Roces Avenue, otherwise called Pasong Tamo, said the latest robbery happened just on Monday (June 3) around 7 p.m. as he was on his way home after work.
In front of the Philippine Daily Inquirer office, he took a filled up jeepney going to the LRT station at the corner of Gil Puyat (Buendia) and Taft Avenues and got a seat at the front near the driver.
When the jeepney was approaching the intersection of Chino Roces and Gil Puyat, three men wearing long sleeved shirts declared a holdup, flashing their knives to the passengers.
Seeing from the jeepney’s side mirror, Frias saw the stunned passengers hand over to the robbers their cellphones.
One of the robbers slid their loot into a paper shopping bag. “They don’t look like robbers. One of them has a brushed up hair. One was wearing a pair of black leather shoes,” Frias said.
After less than three minutes, the robbery was done and he saw the three robbers slowly crossing the street as if nothing had just happened.
The driver, on the other hand, continued driving, dropping off some of the victims who were crying, Frias said.
He was not sure, however, if the victims reported the robbery to the police.
The other incident happened on May 25 shortly before noon while he was on his way to the Inquirer office. Two men had declared a holdup, also brandishing their fan knives.
In those two incidents, Frias said he was spared because he happened to be sitting at the front next to the driver.
“Robbers would usually prey on those sitting at the back so they could easily get away,” Frias said.
The Inquirer tried to obtain records on the number of jeepney robberies along Chino Roces Avenue recently but the police precincts had no consolidated report. The thoroughfare is under the jurisdiction of four precincts and four barangays, according to the police.
John Reyes, a village watchman for Barangay Pio del Pilar, said robberies on Pasong Tamo have indeed become rampant and brazen.
“Just last night (Tuesday) around 7 p.m., passengers of a jeepney in front of the Citimotors on Pasong Tamo lost their mobile phones to robbers,” he said.
Reyes said he was not exactly sure of the common profiles of the robbers but he has recorded three cases since January involving two men, one is burly and another is lanky.
“They would normally park their motorcycle near where they will decide to declare the holdup,” Reyes said.
Reached for comment, Senior Superintendent Manuel Lukban, the city police chief, said the Makati police and members of the public Safety Batallion of the Southern Police District regularly patrolled the streets including Chino Roces Avenue and Dela Rosa Street to deter crimes.
But he noted that robbery groups could also be watching the police’s movements and strike whenever they were not visible.
Acknowledging that there could be more unreported robberies, he made an appeal to the victims to report the incidents to the police and help them in the investigation.
“How can we solve this if they won’t cooperate with us?” Lukban said.
One policeman stationed at a police precinct in Barangay Pio Del Pilar said the police force had not enough men on the roads to watch out for every robber.