Avalanche of riding-in-tandem killings desensitizing Filipinos – Gordon

Published March 17, 2021, 4:38 PM

by Mario Casayuran

An avalanche of killings – whether of lawyers, judges, mayors, congressmen, priests, or people from all walks of life –  is desensitizing Filipinos.

Senator Richard Gordon (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Senator Richard J. Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon and justice committees, said this grisly tally make our countrymen despairing whether there would ever be a solution. 

‘’It is time that we take action to stop these killings because we cannot be mere spectators and become desensitized to them,’’ Gordon.

‘’Hence, there is a very urgent need to fully implement Republic Act 11235, or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, because riding-in-tandem killers have become so fearless that there had been 93 shootings recorded by our office from January 1 to March 14, with only two of their victims getting away unhurt.

Aside from these killings committed with impunity, the public also has to contend with road accidents as one of the leading causes of death, overtaking deadly diseases like dengue, Gordon lamented.

The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has reported that in 2019, 372 incidents with fatalities were tallied in Metro Manila, alone.

‘’We have to undertake measures to ensure the safety of commuters and this would be ensured with the proposed modernized PUVs (public utility vehicles) that will be equipped with technology, such as CCTV camera, GPS monitor and speed limiter, among others. Incidence of robbery, hold-ups, road scams, and others might be reduced or resolved easily due to the CCTV,’’ Gordon explained..

         ‘’However, we also have to balance this with the concern for the close to 200,000 jeepney drivers and operators who would lose their only source of livelihood if the PUV (public utility vehicle) modernization would abruptly push through without somehow cushioning the impact on them. With the COVID-19 pandemic already affecting the income of these drivers and operators, we should look into the matter properly before fully implementing the modernization program and come up with measures that could lighten the burden for them,’’ he pointed out.

         Gordon said providing training for better driving skills and road discipline for drivers, not only jeepney drivers but all PUVs drivers, would also prevent road accidents.

         ‘’This would be further enhanced with the help of speed limiters and assignment of enforcers to check those who are exceeding the limit as well as other traffic violations and religiously imposing proper sanctions without looking the other way because they were given bribes,’’ he said.

         ‘’We all have to work together to put a stop to these killings and deaths to make our country a safer place to live in,’’ he added.