Cabbie suspended pending inquiry
A TAXI driver was suspended by his employer after reports of him cursing and demanding P2,000 from his female passenger last week surfaced online.
Bobong Manliswe, liaison officer of Catz Taxi, said taxi driver Bebanio Dapal Jr. was suspended following the incident.
He said they are investigating the case.
Dapal, who lives in Quiot, Pardo, Cebu City, said he will show up at the hearing of the LTFRB “to prove my innocence.”
He said the controversy has endangered his livelihood and that he’s worried since his wife is unemployed and they have three children.
“My relatives are helping me by giving kilos of rice and cooked food. I’ll just pay them when I get back to work. I don’t know where to work or get a sideline job,” Dapal said in Cebuano.
Dapal has been a driver at Catz Taxi for three years. His boss said they received a copy of the complaint filed with the LTFRB.
The taxi driver recalled the encounter with passengers he picked up last Jan. 7 at barangay Talamban going to Birhen sa Regla Church in Lapu-Lapu City .
When they reached A.C. Cortes in Mandaue City, the one-year old boy threw up. The child vomited into the taxi’s cup holder. They stopped to buy a towel and alcohol to clean up.
Dapal said he was the one who cleaned the mess, not the female passenger who complained.
“Her mother first cursed me. I never curse my passengers,” Dapal said. He also denied demanding P2,000 from the female passenger for the trouble.
He admitted that he used the wrong approach that resulted in an argument.
“Niingon ra ko nga naa ra bay bayranan nga P2,000 kung mahugawan. Wala ko mangayo, nisulti ra ko (I said there’s a P2,000 payment if the taxi got dirty. I didn’t ask; I only mentioned it,” he added.
Dapal said he only received P153 fare from the female passenger.
Ariel Inton Jr., board member of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), said there’s no law that allows public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers to charge fines or penalties from their passengers.
If proven that Dapal asked or demanded P2,000 from his passengers, Inton said the driver is guilty of overcharging based on Joint Administrative Order (JAO) 2014-01.
The 26-year old woman took photos and posted it on her Facebook account along with her account of the incident.
The post became viral with 1,762 shares.
Edwin Antepuesto, LTFRB7’s legal officer will investigate the case.
“I will attend the probe and prove my innocence,” Dapal said.
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