16 September 2005

Be alert! Be warned!

It pays to read this especially sa mga mahilig umuwi ng late. Read through...
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Finally, I am able to get over my initial shock, and write about my experience. The other Tuesday, Aug. 24, after the fellowship following our regular club meeting, I was on my way home to Filinvest I.
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Around 12 midnight, my car (a late model Accord), was cut by another car with blinkers, and four men armed with armalites aimed their guns at me, and told me to open my door. First I thought they were policemen in civvies who had mistaken me for someone else, or whatever. But when they commanded me to board their car and demanded my wallet and valuables, I knew they were robbers and carjackers. To make a long story short, I was dropped at Macapagal Avenue at around 3 a.m. of Wednesday, but not before cleaning my ATM account, inflicting harm on my person, threatening to kill me, and firing at me (with the intent of scaring me). (And of course, taking my Accord earlier).
Classmates, the following day (actually around 9 am of the same day, Wednesday) I reported the incident to the Central Police District. And lo and behold, I learned that so many incidents (about a dozen or more since the beginning of the year) like what I went through (remember, we are talking here of carjacking or taking your car at gunpoint, not just simple carnapping!) had been taking place in and around the following areas:
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1. Quezon Avenue underpass, crossing EDSA

2. Dark streets in the areas around Morato and around the West Triangle
3. Some areas in the Teacher's village, etc.
4. Commonwealth -- although I understand that my case was the first one on top of the overpass over Tandang Sora.
5. Some parts of EDSA - also in Q.C.
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Another, and I just learned this later from non-police sources, is the flyover from Libis, going to Katipunan, and also the underpass tunnel connected to the flyover. (Here, as in the Quezon underpass, the favorite maneuver is to sandwich the victim's car between two cars, one in front and the other behind.) Other carjackings have also taken place in other parts of Metro Manila, especially Pasig, but Q.C. is the epicenter of these incidents.
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Favorite time of carjackers (as distinct from carnappers who take vehicles while they are parked) is between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. although some carjackings are known to have taken place even earlier.
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The day after I was victimized, another similar incident took place (probably by the same gang), with a 26 year old woman, the daughter of an executive judge of Zambales, as the victim. She tried to parry an armalite aimed at her and apparently, the gun went off, hitting her on the thigh, shattering her femur. Let's pray that she will recover soon, and that she will not lose her leg.
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Before me, it has been rumored that the son of a high official of the PNP was almost victimized, but for the fact that his driver, a policeman himself, told the robbers he was a policeman, and that his passenger is the son of this high official of PNP. (The robbers had the temerity to ask for IDs of the two before letting them go.)
Other
victims: a priest, a money changer, a couple with a daughter, another couple, etc.
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According to the police, even kidnappings are rising. Let's be careful but not fearful. Let's inform our children about what's taking place. And maybe suggest to them that, rather than go home during those unholy hours (11 p.m. to 3 a.m.) better if they just stay where they are or stay with a friend at his or her place, rather than go through the no-man's land that is Q.C. (or parts of it anyway!).
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Note: If you or your children have to really drive during those hours, better to take the Commonwealth / Tandang Sora crossing at street level, where there are many vehicles, people and a police outpost.
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Take care, my friends! You don't want to go through what I have gone through.
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