A passenger of a taxi booked through dispatch service Grab filed a complaint after she was allegedly harassed by her driver Wednesday morning.
"Maine" (not her real name) was headed home to Caloocan after a night out with friends in Manila, and fell asleep in the front passenger seat. She woke up when the driver, Jonathan Morales Santos, kissed her, she said.
"Noong una, okay naman, tapos nakatulog ako. Tapos nung malapit na sa amin, nagsalita siya, sabi niya, 'Dito na tayo.' Tapos pagkadilat ko, yung lips niya atsaka lips ko magkadikit na," she said.
Santos supposedly offered to waive her fare, if she did not file a complaint.
However, Maine took the matter to the police.
Police Chief Insp. Moner Orang, station commander of Police Community Precinct 2 in Caloocan, cautioned commuters to stay awake when on public transport.
"Dapat po laging gising, kasi at least maiwasan natin whatever incident. Kasi tulad nun, nakatulog siya, pag gising niya hinalikan na siya ng driver. We will make sure na mapatawag din kung sino yung may ari ng Grab taxi na yun," he said.
According to Maine, she is now afraid to book rides via the online booking service, despite knowing that the act of one driver should not taint the rest.
"Na-trauma na akong mag-Grab, kasi lagi akong nag-g-Grab…Gusto ko rin siyang (Santos) makaharap ulit, kasi wala e, dapat din iyong ibang nag-g-Grab, matuto. Marami din kasi na matino," she said.
In a text message, Grab Philippines Country Head Brian Cu said that they have suspended Santos, pending the outcome of their internal investigation.
"Grab believes in due process and should the driver be found guilty after investigations, we will immediately ban him from the platform and blacklist him with the LTFRB," Cu said.
They are also ready to help the Philippine National Police and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in any way, and will also support Maine if she decides to pursue charges against Santos.
Cu appealed to the public not to judge their service harshly and "discount the good work [of] other Grab drivers" based on an "isolated incident."
ABS-CBN News was unable to contact Santos for a statement. – with reports from Jerome Lantin, ABS-CBN News