By Mario Casayuran
Senator Richard J. Gordon yesterday expressed confidence that killings perpetrated by that riding-in-tandem would now go down with the enactment of Republic Act 11235 or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act.
Gordon, chairman of the Senate justice and human rights committee, said that with the new measure, motorcycle- riding assassins would no longer be able to kill with impunity.
The measure was signed into law this month by President Duterte.
Records from the Philippine National Police (PNP) showed that an average of four people is killed each day by riding-in-tandem shooters.
“Criminals on board motorcycles have really become so bold and fearless. They kill with impunity even in broad daylight and even along very busy thoroughfares such as EDSA! This is because they have always gone away, usually scot-free, because no one usually takes note of the plate number because they are so small and thus, unreadable, or there is no plate number at all,’’ Gordon pointed out.
‘’Pag tatanungin mo ang mga witnesses, hindi nila nakita ang plate number,” he added. (When you ask witnesses, all they could say is that the plate numbers could not be seen.)
“Dito sa batas na ito, madali nang makita ang plate number kaya magkakaroon ngayon ng lead ang mga pulis. Kapag bumyahe naman ng walang plate number ang motorsiko, papahintuin ito at huhulihin ang sakay, kakasuhan, pati ang may-ari ng motor kung ang motor ay ninakaw at hindi ito inireport within three days huhulihin agad ito,” he explained. (Under this law, it is now easy to see the car plates. Thus police would now have leads. If the motorcycle does not have a vehicle plate, police will flag down the vehicle and arrest and charge the driver. The charge sheet shall include even the owner and if the vehicle was stolen and was not reported stolen within three days.)
The same PNP records showed that of the total of 28,409 motorcycle riding crimes or incidents reported from 2010 to 2017, 13,062 or 46 percent of which were shooting incidents. And out of over 4,000 motorcycle riding crimes or incidents in 2016, only eight cases (0.18 percent) were solved.
Gordon is the principal author and sponsor of Senate Bill 1397 that President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law last March 8, 2019 which aims to impose bigger, readable and color-coded number plates to deter, if not totally stop, riding-in-tandem crimes.
Readable plates will also be placed on the front part of the motorcycle.
It also proposes to sanction owners of motorcycles used in the perpetration of crimes with fines and jail terms. Should a motorcycle, used in committing a crime, turn out to be stolen or owned by another person other than the perpetrator of the crime and the owner failed to report the loss within three days.
Motorcycles traveling without plate numbers will also be flagged down, with the rider slapped with charges.