Yesterday, I cruised along Roxas Boulevard and passed by the corner of Roxas Boulevard and T.M. Kalaw Street near the Museo Pambata.
Alas and what a relief! The mean, drug-crazed ‘wiper boys’ are nowhere in sight. Ditto with the stretch of T.M. Kalaw where such young drug addicts also prey on motorists who are bound either for Roxas Boulevard or the Quirino Grandstand area.
Armed with soap and wipers, these boys would, as they wish, spray with soapy water vehicles that come to a halt on red traffic signal and then wipe away, without asking permission.
If you refuse to have your windshield or window wiped or do not hand them money, they would bang your car with their wiper, hurl invectives and give you the dirty finger. Sometimes, they would even threaten to smash your car’s window or windshield.
Now if you run out of loose change and hand over P5, they will get angry and even curse you, according to media friends who have experienced it.
It’s good that the Ermita Police Station headed by its chief, Lt. Col. Ariel Caramoan, finally did something about the problem which had been there for the longest time and happening nearly a spit away from the said police station.
As I have said in my previous column, the said problem area where I myself experienced harassment from these bunch of drug addicts is a major, national road which can well fall under the category of a tourist area.
Imagine, it is a stone’s throw away from the US Embassy and major tourist attractions like the Museo Pambata, Manila Ocean Park, Rizal Park Hotel, Harbor View, Quirino Grandstand, the historic Manila Hotel, Luneta Hotel and the entire Rizal Park, among others.
Day in, day out, tourists –—either pedestrians or aboard their vehicles— pass by the area where the baywalk, another tourist attraction, is also nearby and the ugly sight of such ‘wiper boys’ who openly sniff solvent there is indeed a cause of embarrassment for our country, particularly the police authorities who have supposed jurisdiction over it.
For now, the motorists and pedestrians who regularly pass by the said area can heave a sigh of relief. Until when, only time will tell. We’ll see…. although I was assured by my good friends — Secretary to the Mayor Bernie Ang, Special Mayor’s Reaction Team chief Maj. Jhun Ibay and barangay chairman Engr. Mark Delfin— that when Col. Caramoan sets out to do something, he means it.
Another similar problem area where motorists get harassed by solvent-sniffing ‘wiper boys’is the stretch of Quirino Avenue, particularly near the corner of Osmena Highway, still in Manila.
According to one of my bosses, the bad experience of being harassed by these youngsters is the same only, it is so much meaner.
When her son, who was driving their car, refused to have his windshield wiped and therefore did not give money, the ‘wiper boy,’while looking ‘possessed,’ used his ring to scratch the car window very slowly. While the ring caused a deep scratch and the screeching sound it caused brought fear in the car’s occupants, the boy had his eyes on them the whole time.
Had the signal light not turned green, the occupants felt that they would have been harmed. Getting out of the car to stop the said ‘wiper boys’ is also not a good idea considering how many they are in that area alone.
What is worrisome in this case is the fact that a police station is also located just nearby and yet, these young monsters are able to do their thing unhampered, to the detriment of innocent motorists.
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