DEPARTMENT of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Art Tugade is calling on law enforcement agencies to enforce stricter security measures on the EDSA Busway (EDSA Carousel). He also urged the riding public to be vigilant and to immediately report to authorities any suspicious activities.
The transport chief made the call following an incident at the Ortigas Avenue Station of the EDSA Carousel Monday (May 31, 2021) involving a marshal of the Interagency Council for Traffic (I-ACT) and a reportedly mentally disturbed man with a knife.
“The security and safety of our commuters are of utmost importance. We at the DOTr are not only tasked to provide the public with convenience in their everyday commute. We also want to ensure their safety and security at the stations and while onboard passenger vehicles, in coordination with concerned law enforcement agencies,” said Tugade.
“I am urging the I-ACT, and the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group to intensify security measures to protect our commuters at every stage of their daily commute using our public transportation systems,” added Tugade.
According to a report from I-ACT, at about 5:22 PM Monday, commuters waiting for their bus at the EDSA Carousel Ortigas Avenue station informed the station’s security personnel of a man on crutches who was threatening them with a knife and asking for cash.
Immediately, I-ACT marshal SN2 Julius Gibran Abundol III of the Philippine Coast Guard’s (PCG) Team Barracuda approached the man to escort him off the station.
However, as Abundol was approaching, the man, who was only identified as “Ariel,” then tried to block the buses as they left the station, dropped his crutches and rushed at the PCG personnel with his knife.
Abundol then brought the man down and disarmed him with the help of a bus controller in the area.
Elements of the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) then arrived and took custody of the man, who was described as being mentally unstable. It was also learned that the man had been also seen loitering in other EDSA Carousel stations, harassing commuters and disrupting bus operations.
Tugade also appealed to the riding public to actively participate in maintaining the peace and order in transport stations and hubs and while aboard public transport vehicles by being vigilant.
“You are our partners in keeping our transport systems operating at its most efficient levels daily. Peace and order are major components of these systems. Let us all be vigilant. Report to authorities any suspicious incidents that may cause harm and disrupt the operations of our transport systems. Your cooperation is important,” Secretary Tugade said.