WHAT is it with carjackers? They used to just steal cars. Now it seems murder has become SOP.
They first shocked us with the killing of car dealers Emerson Lozano and Venson Evangelista. Then, over the weekend, we heard about how actress Pilar Pilapil almost suffered the same fate.
Certainly there are others cases most of us haven’t heard about.
One of these cases involveS a teacher from Sacred Heart Academy-Pasig who was stabbed dead earlier this month when thieves took her car in the wee hours of morning. She was supposedly driving alone in Pasig when it happened.
In a country where some in society still doubt the murder and disappearance of thousands during martial law and white collar criminals steal from the people regularly, it is encouraging that many of us still have the capacity to be outraged.
Being unable to would mean apathy has grown so deep in us that we don’t care if the prevailing conditions continue. Our distress is an indication that we recognize the need for the prevailing situation to change.
This Holy Week, as we contemplate on our lives and society while sipping a Pina Colada by the surf, let us remember that we need to help effect change. Just wishing for change and clicking our heels will not bring it about.
We have to do something. It would be illegal to organize a vigilante group to run after, scourge and nail carjackers, drug peddlers and other criminals on a cross or just simply hang or gas them, but it is perfectly legal to make yourself less vulnerable.
Remember that carjackers always take advantage of the element of surprise so be aware of your surroundings.
Dark, isolated areas should be avoided. Ironically, it is in these areas where a parking spot is usually available. In these cases, be alert when approaching your car and have your keys ready so you don’t need to rummage through your bag for it. Those are precious seconds that could give a carjacker the opportunity to sneak up on you.
Drive with your doors locked and windows rolled up.
Remember that car thieves sometimes bump you deliberately and, once you get off the car to inspect the damage, announce the robbery. Speed off when this happens to you especially in an isolated road.
The website my-self-defense.com recommends the following:
• If you are ever confronted by an armed person don’t resist.
• If youR keys or money are demanded, give them up without resistance.
• Don’t take a confrontational approach when being carjacked. This can result in serious injury or death.
• Don’t agree to be taken and kidnapped. Drop the cars keys where you stand, run and scream for help.
• If you are forced to drive – wear a seat belt and consider crashing your car near a busy intersection so bystanders can come to your aid and call the police.
• Call the police immediately to report any crime and be prepared to provide detailed information
A horde of us have already left Metro Manila since the weekend to make the most of the Holy Week, the holiest of feasts in the Catholic religion. A good number of others will start the exodus from Metro Manila and other urban areas by late Wednesday or early Thursday.
It is difficult to predict who will fall victim to car thieves; it’s safer to be prepared. It’s doubtful that car thieves will reflect on their foul ways during Semana Santa. Most likely they will take advantage of it.