CEBU, Philippines - Less than a week after a 50-year-old taxi driver was robbed and killed in Lapu-Lapu City, another taxi driver suffered the same fate at the North Reclamation Area near Pier 4 the other night, just a few hours after he got accepted into his taxi company.
The recent victim, Victor Aballe, 35, was a resident of barangay Punta Princesa, Cebu City and was driving a unit of Marmic Taxi bearing plate number GWS 782 and body number 1755.
The incident happened around 9 p.m. while Aballe was driving near the old office of the city’s mobile patrol division at the reclamation area. He sustained a gunshot wound to the head, presumably as consequence for refusing to hand over his earnings to the suspects.
Aballe, who left a wife and four children, started to work with Marmic Taxi only last Tuesday.
“Ni-apply to siya pagbuntag unya pag gabii gitulis patay dayon. Dili gyud kaayo mi sinati sa iyang kinaiya kay hilumon man kaayo siya,” said Aballe’s fellow driver Rebe Abao.
Meanwhile, police have placed two men in custody in relation to the robbery and killing of the taxi driver in Lapu-Lapu City last week.
But John Lionel Egus and Raymund Nuez vehemently denied involvement in the crime and agreed to undergo a paraffin test.
Chief Inspector George Ylanan of the Investigation and Detective Management Branch said Nuez was arrested by tanods of barangay Tejero.
“Gigukod pa na namo si Nuez pero wala namo nadakpan pero among gilipat mao nga nadakpan jud sa mga tanod. Unya si Egus among gidala ug apil kay ni-fit man siya sa description nga gihatag sa witness,” Ylanan said.
Because of the successive robbery and killings, taxi drivers in the city admitted they are now apprehensive to drive at night.
Jose Estrella of Catz taxi said he is even considering of finding another job.
“Nahadlok na gyud mi nga mu-drive pa kay bisan kami daginuton naman sa mga tulisan. Wa na mi seguridad nga mag-drive sa gabii kay sunod-sunod na man ang pagpanulis unya patyon pa gyud,” Estrella said. — Ramil V. Ayuman and Christopher Gabriel C. Bonjoc/JMO (THE FREEMAN)