No such thing as free parking—even for car theft victim


Stolen-620x413Almost two years after Mario Mañacap’s sport utility vehicle (SUV) got stolen, he finally got it back. It was found abandoned at the parking lot of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 2.

But before he could take it home, Mañacap had to pay P7,200 in parking fees, an amount he gladly settled for the return of his Hyundai Tucson.

The SUV was returned to Mañacap by the Manila International Airport Authority (Miaa) on Thursday after it was able to track him through the vehicle’s license plate.

According to a report from the Miaa’s Airport Police Department (APD), security personnel first noticed the SUV on March 20 and, judging by its condition, concluded that it had been abandoned for some time.

APD Officer 2 Jack Funtanilla said that through the license plate, they first found the original owner, who then said he had sold the vehicle to Mañacap.

Further coordination with the Pasay City police anticar theft unit showed that after Mañacap bought the SUV, he put it up for resale but it was stolen on June 11, 2015, during a test drive by a prospective buyer.

Based on the complaint Mañacap filed in the Pasay City police, he asked two of his employees to accompany a Taiwanese woman, who made a down payment of P10,000, for the test drive around Pasay City.

But upon reaching Evangelista Street, the foreigner gave Mañacap’s employees P1,000 to buy lunch from a fast food restaurant while she waited inside the vehicle. When they returned, the SUV was gone, prompting them to seek police assistance.

Funtanilla noted that the vehicle “has since not been recovered until information of its whereabouts” was relayed to Mañacap.

Based on Naia records, the SUV entered the airport parking area on March 1 and was moved out only on March 24. The parking fee is P300 a day. – Jeannette I. Andrade

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