THE head of the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group yesterday called on Facebook users to take video of violators of the government’s strict ‘no wang-wang’ policy and unauthorized motorcycle escorts in Metro Manila and other parts of the country which they will use as evidence in going after these abusive motorists and law enforcers.
Most specifically, the official requested netizens to see to it that they will be able to clearly record the license plates, color and type and make of the motorcycles and motor vehicles.
“We’re appealing to netizens to please take video of vehicles sporting sirens and blinkers without any authority and motorcycle riders providing unauthorized escorts and violating traffic rules and regulations to the consternation of motorists who are being caught in the daily traffic gridlock. Please send your videos to the PNP-HPG Facebook address so we can immediately act,” said PNP-HPG director, Brigadier General Eliseo DC Cruz.
Cruz, a member of Philippine Military Academy Class 1990 ironically was affected by a massive PNP revamp ordered by PNP Officer-in-Charge, Lieutenant General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa last Sunday. Gamboa designated Brig. Gen. Dionardo B. Carlos, the erstwhile Police Regional Office 8 director in Eastern Visayas as the new PNP-HPG director. Cruz will become the new Deputy Director for Administration of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.
The official reiterated that they have very strict regulations when it comes to providing HPG motorcycle escorts with the PNP policy on the provision of PNP mobile and motorcycle security coverage nationwide already in place to prevent possible abuses.
The policy was implemented amid complaints regarding the unauthorized use of police cars and motorcycles serving as escorts to VIPs and other individuals including tourists and weaving in and out of traffic on EDSA and other parts of Metro Manila as if they are the ‘King of the Road.’
Cruz said they have also long stepped-up their crackdown on violators of Presidential Decree 96 or those illegally using sirens, blinkers and other gadgets on their motor vehicles .
“We are calling on all motor vehicle owners who have fitted their cars, motorbike and SUVs with illegal sirens, blinkers and other unauthorized gadgets to immediately remove them or they will have trouble with the law once we spot them on the streets,” Cruz told the Journal Group last week. Carlos, also an avid motorcycle rider is expected to further improve the programs of Cruz.
Under PD 96, sirens and blinkers can only be used on motor vehicles designated for official use of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Bureau of Investigation, Land Transportation Office, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bureau of Fire Protection and hospital ambulances.
Also being targeted by the PNP-HPG crackdown are private vehicles of local government units and private security agencies which have been illegally equipped with sirens and blinkers and ‘bullying’ their way into the busy streets of Metro Manila and the rest of the country.
Violation of PD 96 may be penalized with cancellation or revocation of the certificate of registration of the motor vehicle involved. Cruz said that drivers/owners of motor vehicles found to be using illegal sirens and blinkers are being requested to remove the gadgets on the spot.
Official receipts are then issued to the confiscated gadgets. Repeat offenders will find themselves facing charges which could lead to the revocation of their motor vehicle registration and driver’s license.
There’s no way out too for violators who will not be apprehended on the streets by the PNP-HPG. Officials said once there is a complaint against a siren or blinker-using motor vehicle and the plate number is recorded, HPG investigators can easily track down the address of the violator thru a check with the Land Transportation Office.
Officers will then visit the violator’s address and invite him to the PNP-HPG headquarters if he won’t personally remove the banned gadget from his vehicle.
In the past, PNP-HPG agents have apprehended members of different local government units and territorial police units acting as unauthorized escorts to foreigners in Metro Manila or during funeral processions.
The violators were found to be involved in a ‘motorcycle escort-for-a-fee’ racket in connivance with some travel agencies and funeral parlors.