- LTO’s failure to fast track the production of license plates and processing of vehicle registrations “is abetting motorcycle-riding criminals,” brought up in the Senate hearing
- Implementation of the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, which mandates larger, readable and color-coded license plates is stalled because of the failure of the LTO and other government agencies
- Senator Dick Gordon alleges Des Marketing Inc., Des Strong Motors, Du Ek Sam Inc. and Premio Corp. as well as other motorcycle importers have contributed to the rising crimes in the country
- PNP has 52 percent unresolved crimes cases related to motorcycle-riding assailants for lack of license plates or proper documentation to track down the suspects
MANILA — During the Senate hearing, PNP records show that from 2016 to 2020, motorcycle-related crimes reached 19,086. Of the number, only 9,040 or 48 percent were resolved.
Gordon blasts LTO’s glaring failure
Sen. Richard Gordon, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee which looks into the failure of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and other government agencies to implement the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, which mandates larger, readable and color-coded license plates, says is abetting motorcycle-riding criminals.
Gordon, author of Republic Act No. 11235, pointed out that the number of people being killed by riding-in-tandem assassins in the Philippines continues to rise, hence, there is an urgent need for the implementation of the measure.
The failure of the LTO to fast track the production of license plates and processing of vehicle registrations, coupled with the alleged illegal practices of top motorcycle dealers had caused thousand of unsolved cases attributed to motorcycle-riding assailants because of lack of license plates or proper documentation to track down the suspects.
His office has monitored 147 victims of motorcycle-riding gunmen reported in the news from 1 January to 31 December 2020, while there have been eight victims from 1 to 16 January this year.
“These assassins continue to terrorize the country and people are being murdered just like that even at this time of a pandemic. The continuous and unabated killings are increasingly alarming. Masyado nang talamak ang mga patayan (Killings are rampant),” Gordon said in news reports.
Criminal activities on the road, in the bureau
“If motorcycles are not registered or not assigned plates, they can easily be used for criminal activities, to kill people,” Gordon said.
“Your registration process must be unsullied, and you must not connive with anybody,” he added, referring to the motorcycle dealers.
From 1 January to February alone, Gordon said, 59 people, including police officers and local officials, were victimized by motorcycle-riding suspects. Of this figure, 50 were killed, citing data collated by Gordon’s staff.
Also summoned to the hearing were representatives from Des Marketing Inc., Des Strong Motors, Du Ek Sam Inc. and Premio Corp. as well as other motorcycle importers that Gordon alleged have contributed to the rising crimes in the country.
Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez told the panel that the agency’s Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau has received some 3,060 complaints from consumers who have purchased motorcycles from these dealers.
PNP shows record on crimes involving motorcycle
PNP records show that of 9,040 or 48 percent of cases involving motorcycles were resolved. From 2016 to 2020, motorcycle-related crimes reached 19,086.
Philippine National Police chief Gen. Debold Sinas said the PNP has deployed tactical motorcycle-riding units (TMRUs) to go after criminals.
There are over 2,000 trained PNP personnel that form part of TMRUs, with eight teams assigned per urbanized area.
Where are the license plates, LTO?
Meanwhile, LTO chief Edgar Galvante said the agency was rushing the production of license plates, with 1.4 million pieces produced so far.
R.A. 11235 mandates the use of bigger, readable, and color-coded plates so that motorcycles used in crimes can be easily identified and the use of stolen number plates can be prevented, as well.
The new plate measures 235mm in width and 135mm in height. The old plate is 200mm x 225mm.
The law also requires the LTO to maintain a registry of motorcycles to facilitate information retrieval for official investigation and law enforcement purposes. (JSM/JuanManila)
Featured image: Senator Dick Gordon, chair of Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, during a Senate hearing on the rising crimes related to motorcycle-riding assailants. (via PNA)