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PNP pits ‘big bikes‘ vs riding-in-tandem criminals

MORE Philippine National Police ‘Riders’ are currently being trained to help go after motorcycle-riding guns-for-hire and holdup men, PNP chief General Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan announced yesterday.

Citing official PNP crime statistics, the top cop said there were a total of 1,324 street crimes attributed to 1,958 motorcycle-riding suspects from January 1 this year up to last October 16. The crimes include 424 murder, 24 homicide, 307 physical injury, 32 rape, 306 robbery, 100 carnapping, and 131 theft cases.

Gen. Cascolan said that although 400 of these cases have been solved and 362 were cleared with the arrest of 308 suspects and the death of 21 others, “we are pursuing the arrest of 1,629 suspects who remain at-large and presumed to be still actively engaged in criminal activities.”

The PNP chief said that 90 units of 1,000cc motorcycles or ‘Big Bikes’ they recently procured will significantly enhance the PNP’s capability for high-speed tactical police response to street crimes especially those perpetrated by riding-in-tandem criminals.

“In response to the instructions of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to address the increasing crime incidents involving motorcycle-riding suspects, I have directed through a memorandum the increase of police visibility by adding more motorcycle patrols to our existing fleet and initiate refresher training to our mounted tactical responders,” he said.

The PNP chief said that all 17 Police Regional Offices ,in coordination with the PNP Highway Patrol Group headed by Brigadier Gen. Alexander C. Tagum were instructed to conduct training in Tactical Motorcycle-Riding and to organize Motorized Anti-Street Crime Operating Teams which will go after motorcycle-riding criminals.

He said that 178 policemen in Cordillera, Ilocos-Pangasinan and Caraga regions as well as the PNP Special Action Force are currently undergoing skills development training in tactical motorcycle-riding.

Last week, Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander Lieutenant Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said that incidents of killings and robbery-holdup involving Motorcycle-Riding Suspects or MRS have gone down by 57 percent over the past seven months of intensified security and health safety measures being implemented by the PNP.

The big reduction in the number of cases involving the so-called riding-in-tandem criminals comes in the wake of Gen. Cascolan’s order for the PNP-HPG to train as many policemen in motorcycle-riding as part of their anti-criminality measures as instructed by President Duterte.

According to Eleazar, there were a total of 784 cases of MRS-related criminal activities recorded during the past 220 days of the community quarantine period compared to the 1,864 cases recorded during the same period before the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine and its other levels or a 57 percent reduction.