Sunday, October 6, 2013

Robbers preying on students after UAAP championship game

Last Saturday I got a "red flag" FB pm from my wife. My eldest son wasn't home yet at almost 10 PM and she couldn't contact him for hours. Text messages remained unanswered and his girlfriend was also trying to reach him without success. His phone simply kept on ringing and most of the time was busy. Mother's instinct has driven my wife nervous; she knew something happened to our son thus I wasn't able to concentrate on my job in Yemen as well. After almost an hour, I received another pm from wife expressing her relief that my son arrived home safely after being robbed inside an FX taxi.

Earlier on that day, my son met his girlfriend and after they parted ways he proceeded to Araneta Coliseum with his former classmates to watch the second game between DLSU and UST men's senior basketball championship. Being an alumnus of UST it was his utmost desire to show his support to their team.

The game ended at past 5 PM; together with his friends they took their dinner before they called it a day. As expected, thousands of students were roaming around Cubao area and most public transports within the vicinity would be occupied by them.

From Cubao to San Mateo, my son would normally take FX taxi from Gateway Mall where these taxis are always in queue. Three men boarded the FX taxi together with my son and other UST students. They sat separately inside the taxi. Upon reaching Marikina City, these men brought out their weapons and declared a holdup. The second man seated beside my son pointed his bladed weapon at his neck and asked for his mobile phone. What was surprising was the robbers only demanded the mobile phones of all the passengers; no wallets or other valuables were taken from them. Could it be that the robbers were a bit merciful knowing that these college students have only their allowances inside their wallets aside from their fancy phones?

At any rate, during the heist, one of the robbers asked the FX driver to drive in some remote areas in Marikina City while they divest the passengers of their mobile phones. Fortunately, my son's Nokia X6 mobile phone was about 3 years old; I bought it in Singapore for 10,500 pesos. It was about to be replaced actually.

That was the third time my eldest son was robbed. The first time was many years back and occurred just outside our subdivision, he was accosted by a burly guy and a bladed weapon was pointed at his ribs. He lost his mobile phone and wallet. The second time was inside an FX taxi also while he was on his way home from UST after his evening classes a few years back. He was lucky since the robbers got his dummy myPhone he used for music thus saving his Nokia mobile phone inside his pocket from being taken. However, last Saturday, it didn't survive the heist, lol.

Last year, my daughter also was accosted at Philcoa area on her way to UP Diliman. The thief got her 1 month old Samsung Corby phone. As parents, the only consolation that we got was that our kids were never harmed by these unscrupulous individuals. Perhaps because I used to remind them that in case they would face this kind of situation they should give any material belongings that the thief would demand. Fighting or resisting should be out of the equation unless it is a matter of life and death.

This coming Saturday, the final match between DLSU and UST will be held at Mall of Asia Arena. There is a high probability that these robbers will strike again at those unsuspecting students who will be watching the game to support their teams. Hence, to all parents who'll be able to read this post and have kids that will be at MOA this Saturday, you have been forewarned.

I hope the local police where these games are being held will try their best to protect these students so they will not be in harm's way after watching the game.

Finally, let's us not put our guard down. Christmas is just around the corner and many "good-for-nothing" humans will try to raise their funds so they will have a happy Christmas at the expense of other people.