Toothbrush. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Agency

Manila: A toothbrush came in handy for a woman passenger in suburban Quezon City when it was the only thing that came between her and a depraved taxi driver bent on assaulting her.

According to a report by the GMA News TV, the victim was riding in a taxi driven by Zaldy Macatiag late Monday when the latter declared a hold-up and demanded that she hand her over her valuables while assaulting her and hitting her with a lead pipe.

The cab was travelling along a desolate area in the city’s Sauyo village in Novaliches district at around midnight when the incident took place.

Recovering from the initial shock, the victim desperately dug into her pocket for whatever she could use as a weapon against her attacker. She found a toothbrush.

Aware that her attacker was desperate and would do anything, the victim stabbed Macatiag in the eye with the toothbrush and immediately ran for help.

Macatiag fled the scene but was later caught by authorities when he sought treatment for his injured eye at a local hospital.

According to the report, the suspect is facing charges relating to robbery and attempted murder.

Harassment and violence against female passengers are among the most common crimes in the Philippines.

Authorities advice women who work during the evenings or in areas not frequented by people to carry with them whatever they can use for self-defence such as pepper spray, a whistle, a pocket alarm and other non-lethal devices, among others.