DENR exec: Uber driver harassed my daughter, asked for movie date
A ranking government official is threatening to press charges against an Uber driver who allegedly harassed his daughter during a ride in Quezon City.
Assistant Secretary Rommel Abesamis of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) vented his anger in a press conference on Friday, a day after his 20-year-old daughter’s alleged ordeal.
According to Abesamis, he booked his daughter with Uber around 1 p.m. on Thursday and she was later picked up by a silver Mitsubishi Mirage along Mindanao Avenue. Both he and his daughter, however, could only identify the driver as “Juanito.”
Later that afternoon, Abesamis said, his daughter complained to him that the driver kept asking her questions and “got too personal” during the ride.
Juanito, he said, asked about her family and where she studies, and even wondered if he could apply as their family driver, all while munching peanuts and offering her some.
“He also asked my daughter out on a movie (date) and told her that a beauty like her should make a lot of babies,” Abesamis told reporters.
Abesamis said that should he fail to get Uber’s “cooperation” on the matter, he would ask the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to revoke the franchise it granted to the transport network company.
Joining Abesamis in the press briefing, Ariel Inton, a former LTFRB board member and founder of the group Lawyers for Commuters’ Safety and Protection, said that when Abesamis managed to contact Juanito on Thursday afternoon, the driver already apologized for what he did.
Driver changes tone
But when a son of Abesamis called the driver again on Friday, the driver changed his tone, threatened to “confront” them and even challenged them to sue him.
Inton said they would ask the Land Transportation Office to revoke the driver’s license and also the LTFRB to check if the driver met the requirements to operate as an Uber partner.
They would also file criminal charges against the driver for violating a Quezon City ordinance against harassing women, he added.
Inton said this was the 10th complaint he had encountered concerning an Uber driver.
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