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Good Samaritan Grab driver shot in back of his head by lone carjacker.

A Grab driver who went viral months ago for helping out a sick passenger was killed by a gunman who pretended to be a passenger, bringing with him the car's victim on his escape.

Gerardo Maquidato Jr., lauded by the transport network vehicle service (TNVS) as one of its 'best drivers,' was shot dead on Bonanza Street, Barangay 189, Don Carlos Village, on Thursday evening by a lone assailant.

According a report by case investigator PO3 Henry Manong, Maquidato sustained a lone gunshot wound in the back of his head. The slug exited through his left eye.

The silver Toyota Innova with conduction sticker YV 7109 was also carnapped by the suspect on his escape.

In his affidavit to police, Barangay 189 Councilor Roberto Chan said he was on Bonanza Street at about 7:45 p.m. when he saw the parked Innova with a broken front window.

He thought it was one of the usual incidents when loiterers would throw stones on parked vehicles.

He said he was on his way to look for the one who threw the stone when he saw a bloodied body on the driver's seat.

Ride first, grab car after

Chan said he saw another man on the back passenger seat. He said the passenger then embarked on the vehicle and threw the body of Maquidato on the pavement.

The suspect then took the steering wheel and drove off toward Cessna Street.

A closed-circuit footage captured the suspect wearing white t-shirt - different from Maquidato's which was a red shirt under a brown jacket.

Chief Insp. Rogelio Hernandez, chief of Pasay police investigation, said police were looking initially at carjacking as the motive.

He said they were still waiting for Grab to forward to them the information of Maquidato's last passenger and the other bookings he received on that day.

In a statement, Grab said it mourned for the 'needless and untimely death of one of our best driver-partners.'

6 carnapping incidents

'Grab condemns this sensless murder and is alredy collaborating authorities to esnure that justice will be served and perpetrators will be put behind bars,' it added.

According to Grab, it has reported at least six confirmed incidents of carnapping perpetrated by criminals pretending to be legitimate passengers.

It said it had started cooperating with Task Force Limbas of the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group.

Fearing for the security of other drivers, Bryan Cu, Grab PH country head, said the firm's officials were still in talks with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to implement a 'know your customer' scheme for its riders.

This includes asking passengers to take a photo of themselves with a government issued ID.

He also said they were in plans to subsidize the cost of dashboard cameras of its drivers and put trackers on their cars.

'Grab is doing what it can to support its Grab partner drivers and ensure safety on the road,' he said on his Facebook video.

Model driver

In October last year, Maquidato was recognized as one of its best drivers after he gave a free ride to a sick passenger.

On her Facebook post, Divine Lactao Ornum said she booked a GrabCar for her sister Prima, who was on her way to Quezon City from Pasay to pick up bags of blood for her dialysis.

Maquidato did not ask for any payment for the trip. The post went viral and the Grab driver was praised of more than 100,000 people.

On Aug. 22 last year, Prima died of complications due to diabetes. But Maquidato's kindness for the Ornum family was not forgotten.

In another post on Friday, Ornum said Maquidato even volunteered his car to ferry attendees of Prima's burial.

'Sis will thank you in heaven'

During the awarding in October, Maquidato invited Ornum's family to share his award with them. The driver even gave some of the freebies he received to Ornum's relatives.

Come Christmas last year, Maquidato went out of his way and returned to Ornum's house and gave Christmas gifts to her children relatives since Grab had given him his bonus.

Ornum also called for justice for Maquidato's death and help be extended to his family.

'Kuya Gerardo, may you rest in peace,' Ornum said. 'I hope that you meet my sister [in heaven] where she can finally thank you.'
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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Oct 29, 2017
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