‘New modus’ along Abada preys upon LS students

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TWO LOYOLA Schools students were held up by two individuals, one armed with a knife, at around 2:00 AM Thursday, along Esteban Abada.

The two suspects managed to escape the scene in a white sedan.

As of writing, the victims are working with the Quezon City Police Department (QCPD) to find CCTV footages of the car to determine its exact model and license plate.

According to one student’s account, with no tricycles available near the establishments along Rosa Alvero Street, they decided to walk along Esteban Abada Street, thinking it was safer than walking along Katipunan Avenue.

In a memo dated December 1, the Office for Student Services warned of several robbery incidents in front of a high-rise construction site between Oracle Hotel and Sweet Inspirations along Katipunan Avenue.

The students were walking northward Esteban Abada when they noticed a white car slowly moving southbound with its hazard lights on. Initially dismissing it as an Uber car waiting for a passenger, they continued to walk, only to see that the car had taken a u-turn and begun to follow them.

Upon realizing that they were being followed, the two began to run down the street and hid at a nearby tutorial center. They stayed there for a few minutes. After feeling that the car had gone away, they went out again and walked northbound.

As soon as the students were in clear view of the street, the car had sped up from out of hiding, forcing the students to run. As the students approached a sari-sari store near the corner of Esteban Abada and Fabian Dela Rosa, two men appeared from the shadows and caught up to them.

One man, who the victim described as in his 30s and wearing a Fake Taxi tank top, pointed a knife at the two and ordered them to give their belongings. The other man, described to look around his mid-20s, was unarmed and was taking the students’ belongings from their pockets, as the older-looking man commanded them to avoid shouting.

After taking the students’ mobile phones, wallets, a film camera, jewelry, and one of the students’ Ateneo IDs, the two men entered the car and drove off. The car sped through Fabian Dela Rosa and turned right to Katipunan Avenue.

Uninjured, the students frantically shouted for help in front of MyPlace Residence Hall. Two attendants came to their aid and had them come inside. The dormitory personnel also advised students in the outdoor study area to stay inside the building.

A few minutes later, QCPD officers and a Barangay Loyola Heights tanod arrived at the dormitory to sit down with the victims and hear details of the incident.

The victims, accompanied by a dorm personnel, then rode with the police in a cruiser to find the getaway car, or CCTV footage of it, as the CCTV in the corner of Esteban Abada and Fabian Dela Rosa was not functioning.

The victim reported that there were also no barangay tanods stationed near the area of the incident, even though the barangay headquarters is located on the same street.

The victims, along with their families, have formally filed a case at QCPD Station 9 in Anonas.

MyPlace also contacted the Ateneo Campus Safety and Mobility Office (CSMO) about the incident, given that police told them that typical modus operandi are usually executed with motorcycles instead of cars.

After calling the CSMO, a representative from the office arrived at MyPlace to discuss immediate steps towards better safety measures.

Among the proposals mulled was to extend the CSMO’s current regular cruising hours, which are currently conducted until 12 AM, further into the night. Another suggestion brought up was to relay to the barangay to add police checkpoints around the area.

Editor’s Note: This is a developing story. We will add more updates to this story as they come. The victims’ names have been concealed for their safety, and the concerned MyPlace personnel has asked to remain unnamed.

ERRATUM: An earlier version of this article stated that the first suspect was wearing a Fake Taxi t-shirt. The article has been updated to read "Fake Taxi tank top".  We apologize for the oversight.

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