With the rising number of motorcycle riding tandems committing crimes and extra-judicial killings, former Senator Richard J. Gordon has proposed the issuance of bigger plate numbers for vehicles, especially for motorcycles.
Reiterating his call following last Sunday’s ambush that wounded Calauan Mayor Buenafrido Berris and killed a youth leader and Berris’ driver in Barangay Imok, Gordon said the government should take a bite out of crime, noting that extra-judicial targeted killings, usually by motorcycle riding gunmen, have become so common all over the country.
“There are killings every day – 3,000 people have been affected by riding in tandems. It is very simple. People are killed every day, how about making plate numbers bigger, big plate numbers mean better witnesses. Let’s start with motorcycles, aside from bigger plates require them to display body numbers. We can also do this for other vehicles para mabawasan talaga ang crime,” he said.
The senatorial candidate lamented that because of the small plate numbers that witnesses could not make a note of, nobody’s ever been captured, adding that this and going after agencies that do not implement the laws are among the reasons that prompted him to seek a seat in the Senate in May.
“This is how it is solved, take a bite out of crime. I’m going back to the Senate to take a bite out of all these agencies that do not implement the laws. And I want to take a bit out of the budget to give it a better bite for education, for example.
Gordon, former mayor of Olongapo City, said that if he were an incumbent local executive, he would require the bigger plate numbers from motorcycle owners in his jurisdiction to ensure the safety of the people.
“If I were mayor today, I will tell the LTO (Land Transportation Office) I will replace your plate numbers with a bigger one and I will register it so that every motorcycle operating in my community will have that so that my people will be safe. And you put plate numbers in front. And I will even put a helmet where the body number is there. And if you ride without it, you are immediately caught and given a ticket,” he said.
Berris and fatalities – Emmanuel Pena who is running for councilor, and Leonardo Taningco – were onboard a campaign vehicle when a car cut in and the suspect fired several shots at them. They were brought to a hospital but the two did not reach the hospital alive. San Pablo City police later found a car believed to be the suspect’s getaway vehicle abandoned in a nearby village.
In 2013, the Philippine National Police has reported that riding in tandems were involved in more than 3000 street crimes in the country, with five out of every 25 crimes perpetrated by riding in tandem. The Human Rights Watch also reported that they carried out majority of death squad killings reported in the country. Judges and lawyers have become common victims, with at least 41 lawyers killed since 2001 and 25 judges murdered since 1999. Journalists, too, have become easy targets. A total of 151 journalists have been killed since 1986, 30 of them since 2010. (PR)