Ninoy Aquino International Airport authorities on Wednesday arrested a taxi driver who allegedly conned an Austrian couple engaged in travel video blogging.
The misdeed of Jhumil Bule also resulted in the decision of the Manila International Airport Authority to blacklist or ban all Davis Taxi / Cashman Transport units from lining up and picking up passengers at the airport.
MIAA intelligence and Investigation Division personnel led by Eric Mejia arrested Bule in Taytay, Rizal.
The airport authorities coordinated closely with the local police force in Taytay to locate the suspect.
In their video blog shared on May 5, the couple Mike and Nelly claimed they arrived at the NAIA from Tokyo when they decided to hail the Davis Taxi on their way to Legaspi Village in Makati City.
“Just after leaving, the taxi driver aggressively tried to make us pay a flat rate versus the metered rate shown in the taxi and also wanted to charge us an extra fee for the luggage,” part of their caption in the video reads.
“When he realized we were filming everything for our own protection, he got very aggressive and attacked me, trying to retrieve my phone,” Mike said.
They also claimed that the taxi driver pulled over in “the middle of the Skyway” and told the couple to get off his vehicle.
The suspect is now detained at the MIAA - IID detention cell and will be criminally charged with the Pasay City prosecutors office.
MIAA records showed that another video blogger identified as one Mikey Chen was among the passenger-victims of questionable fare rates of taxi units at the airport.
Chen was victimized when he arrived in Manila in 2018.
Chen reportedly paid a taxi driver some P2,300 for a short ride within Metro Manila.
MIAA general manager Eddie Monreal appealed to passengers to avoid dealing with solicitors and keep away from unmarked vehicles. He also advised passengers to report any abusive drivers who take advantage while on a trip.
Hundreds of regular or white taxi units are already banned from lining up and picking up passengers at the airport terminals due to various complaints of abuses and illegal activities.
Among other infractions committed by the non-accredited taxi drivers were reckless driving, refusal to convey passengers, contracting, arrogance, no proper queuing and death threat to their clients.
In July 2016, Monreal gave the go signal for regular taxis to line up and pick up passengers at the NAIA following complaints about the lack of affordable transportation.
The move, according to Monreal, was made to give passengers other option or choice of transportation to their destination.
He said allowing the white taxis will also address the shortage of airport accredited transportation units.
To ensure safety of the riding public, dispatch slip with the name of the driver, taxi plate number, name of the operator and the important hotline numbers will be given to passengers while a copy of the taxi slip will be retained by the dispatcher at the airport.
Airport authorities said major passenger terminals have thousands of incoming passengers a day, most of them arriving practically at the peak-hour window.
They added the MIAA had been criticized for the lack of transportation which is why the authority decided to open the airport to non-accredited taxi companies.