There are so many modi operandi in Manila that it pays to be aware of the most popular ones if you want to be safe. One of the most infamous is the taxi spray modus, where taxi drivers spray something in the vehicle’s air-conditioner, rendering the passenger immobile. A netizen shared a recent incident where she hailed a cab and experienced this dreaded modus. Fortunately, she acted fast and was able to save herself.
Deej D. shared her experience on Facebook, and encouraged everyone to be careful. According to Deej:
I went to SM Makati taking my usual daily route going home from my office. 6:41PM I asked the Grab kiosk staff to book a taxi for me because I can’t get a booking from my mobile phone. The staff got a booking from Grab Taxi.
She waited for 10 minutes until the taxi arrived, noting that the kiosk staff accompanied her to the taxi and checked the driver’s mobile phone to make sure everything was okay. Then she got in.
The taxi had a loud radio listening to TV Patrol. Then I heard a weird sound of spray twice. I looked at the driver and he’s not moving though so I thought it was nothing. Then after awhile probably 10 seconds or more I heard the spray sound again twice, this time I can smell a weird fragrance and my fingers were starting to feel numb. I moved a bit holding my bag in my shoulders and texted the driver’s details to my mom.
When they turned left at Makati Avenue, she heard that weird spray sound again. Soon, Deej felt a heavy chest and couldn’t breathe properly. She felt dizzy, but she managed to call the first number she saw in her call register, which was her house landline number. The call didn’t go through.
I pretended I was talking to my mom and made up a conversation that she’s having issues in Greenbelt and I need to pick her up immediately. I am doing this while no longer feeling my hands holding my mobile phone and gasping to breathe. I asked the driver to drop me off beside the Ayala Stock Exchange near the underpass, and I opened the door even if the taxi was still moving. The driver even said “Sure ka, ma’am bababa ka na? Sayang naman, ikaw ang bahala” (Are you sure, ma’am you’re going down already? It’s up to you). I told him “Oo, itigil mo na, dito na ko sa underpass, ito P100” (Yes, stop the car now. Here’s 100 pesos).
She was so numb that she almost dropped her wallet. She also had to place the bill near her eyes so she could tell it was a P100 bill.
Deej called the taxi provider’s hotline to file a complaint, and they advised her to get a medical test. She’s still waiting for the results, but she described the company as accommodating, as they picked her up and dropped her off to get the medical exam. She said that the driver has already been suspended and is being investigated by the company.
How can we better protect ourselves? Share your comments below!