Grab & Uber in Manila, Asked to Help Fight Crime

Popular Philippines National Police Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa has initiated a "Road Safety, and Security Ambassadors" scheme where Uber and Grab drivers are initiated into helping fight road related crimes. On Monday, Bato swore in 1,500 Grab drivers into the new initiative.

Bato told the drivers, "You might say I am asking too much of you. The initial agreement is this is only for road safety, but now I am adding security."

He explained to everyone that if they are already involved in road safety, they should also keep an eye open for criminal activity too.

Bato added that "If you see any armed men on motorcycles whom you think are not policemen, report them to the nearest police station so that the policemen can respond immediately."

One of the biggest issues in the Philippines is the use of bikes to perform crimes, and since the Philippines is a biking haven, where most of the population start to ride bikes as young as 10 years old, criminal elements tend to use them and get lost in the crowds after committing a crime.

As part of the process, the Grab drivers will create their own ranking system, giving them a "uniform" and an ego boost to help assure road safety as well as help fight crime.

The new road marshals will be reporting through a special hotline set up by the PNP Highway Patrol Group (HPG), and all their reports will be screened and validated.

The concept of vigilantes is not new in the US, and the police are against people becoming vigilantes. Manila is different to the US, there Duterte has declared full scale war on drugs, and he has instated a shoot first ask questions later rule on the streets. By allowing Grab and Uber drivers a semi-military status, he is adding more fuel to the fire. I am sure it will help speed up things there, but here, deputizing Uber and Lyft drivers would be like putting more guns onto the streets.

Will they let the drivers carry guns too? Can they wear spandex and a cape?