Grab driver seeks justice after getting beat up for returning lost iPhone

MANILA, Philippines - A Grab driver is asking for justice after he was beaten up by his passenger for returning the phone he left inside the car.

Grab driver seeks justice after getting beat up for returning lost iPhone
Instead of a “thank you,” the driver got beaten up after returning the phone the passenger had left behind.

The Facebook post by Kiel Nigel Yabut on Sunday has gone viral after netizens strongly reacted to the story of the driver named Armando Yabut.

Yabut posted photos of himself after he was beaten up by his passenger identified to be Jinno John Simon. According to Yabut, he was already in his house in Taytay, Rizal when he realized that Simon had left his phone inside his car. He immediately called Grab and reported the incident. Yabut was even able to talk with Simon on the phone and assured him that he will return his phone.

The 30-year-old driver traveled to Kamuning, Quezon City and met up with his passenger. But instead of receiving a “thank you,” Yabut received countless of punches in his face. Simon even asked some of his neighbors to help beat him up. Yabut said, “Noong binubugbog po niya ko, hinila niya po ko doon sa tatlong tao na nandoon, mga nagbabasura po at pinagsisigawan po niya sa mga nandon na magnanakaw daw po ako na pagtulungan ako pero 'di po tumulong sila.”

Police officers came and invited them to the police station but Simon refused. The two instead agreed to settle in the Barangay.

In front of the Barangay officials, Yabut was surprised that Simon claimed that the driver tried to steal the phone. Simon defended his actions by saying that he tried to call Yabut a few times but the driver didn’t answer.

Yabut was so appalled that the Barangay officials even urged him to admit to something that he didn’t do. He said, “Pagdating sa barangay, pilit po nila akong ano... pinapaamin. Ang gusto mangyari po ng passenger humingi lang daw po ako ng pasensya at makakauwi na ko at mangako lang daw ako na 'di ko daw siya babalikan kinaumagahan dahil sa ginawa niyang pambubugbog.”

There have been no official statement from Simon as of to date. The viral post has already been shared almost 48,000 times already.

Drivers seek protection

Several incidents have already been reported about Grab drivers being abused or become victims of violence by their passengers. Last September, a Grab driver named Edgar Luciapao was beaten up by three of his passengers and stole his Mitsubishi Montero. Luciapao was lucky enough to have escaped.

One incident that made a huge mark last year the killing of a ‘model’ Grab driver named Gerardo Maquidato Jr. Maquidato was shot in the head by carnappers who posed as passengers. The suspect surrendered to the authorities and claimed he had no intention of killing the driver but “nanlaban po kasi siya.”

Grab and Uber push for passenger and rider security

Following the killing of Maquidato, Transport network companies (TNCs) Grab and Uber had a meeting with Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to discuss security measures that would protect not just passengers but also their drivers.

One of the suggestions by Grab Philippines country head Brian Cu, was the creation of a common database of “blacklisted passengers.”

Due to this, several drivers have already started asking for valid IDs from their passengers.

Cu stated asked for a mandate that “TNCs to require passengers to update their profile on the respective ride-hailing apps by using Facebook login.”

For their part, the LTFRB formed a special technical working group to focus on several directions that would help protect TNC drivers.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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