To all motorists driving in the vicinity of Santolan Road/Project 4/Cubao, beware of the driver of said jeepney.  Give him a wide berth on the road.  This morning, he figured in an altercation (a mild term, considering what happened) with our shuttle driver over an almost-accident.  It happened very near the intersection of 15th Ave. (I think) and Santolan Road, close to a Camp Aguinaldo gate.

It was a red light and traffic was quite heavy.  The jeepney driver got off and walked up to our driver to challenge him to a fistfight.  When our driver wouldn’t get out, he went back to his jeepney and got a metal tube that’s about a foot-and-a-half long to use as a weapon.  Our driver was also a hot-head himself and was reaching for something in the glove compartment.  The two lady passengers in front “hugged” him to prevent him from getting out of the vehicle.  We were all pleading with him to just let it go for the sake of his passengers.

Meanwhile, the jeepney driver was like a madman outside, going around our shuttle, screaming and waving his weapon threateningly.  When our driver didn’t get out, he hit the front of the vehicle, creating a dent and partially breaking the lower part of the windshield.  He went back to his jeepney when the light turned green, but he lightly hit our shuttle’s bumper before speeding away, turning left to continue his route.  Our driver chased him, instead of turning right to EDSA.  We all told him to let us off first if he plans to chase the jeepney driver.  Eventually, he was convinced to cool down and just report the incident.  After all, as we told him, he has a shuttle full of witnesses, all of whom noted down the jeepney’s plate number.  No one was able to take photos though.  I guess we were all scared of the maniacal jeepney driver.

And the other sad thing?  Uzis who couldn’t even be bothered to get the attention of the 2 MMDA personnel situated at the corner just a few meters away.  There was even one guy who was smiling excitedly like he was just watching a minor ruckus, instead of a potentially dangerous and violent situation.  Worse, those MMDA personnel  suddenly turned blind and deaf during the incident.  I know they’re not the police, but still, shouldn’t it be part of their job to address traffic incidents in the absence of traffic police?

We reported the incident to them after our driver gave up the chase.  We all couldn’t believe that they didn’t notice anything that happened given their proximity.  I only saw the last name of one of the MMDA personnel – Custodio Jr.

We eventually reached Makati without further incident.  As we got off the shuttle, some passengers wished our driver good luck in pursuing his complaint.

Let’s always remind ourselves and one another to keep cool on the road. Better to lose an argument or suffer a little material damage than to risk our lives and the lives of other people.

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