Gordon renews call for 'Doble Plaka' on motorcycles despite lack of plates
Photo shows Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman Richard Gordon at a hearing on Thursday, March 5.
The STAR/Mong Pintolo
Gordon renews call for 'Doble Plaka' on motorcycles despite lack of plates
Bella Perez-Rubio (Philstar.com) - July 7, 2020 - 6:37pm

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Richard Gordon on Tuesday renewed his call for the immediate enforcement of the controversial Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act of 2019.

"The implementing rules and regulations of the law is already there, why is it still not enforced? These motorcycle-riding criminals will continue to commit these remorseless killings unless it is enforced; even the [enhanced community quarantine] did not stop them," he said.

RELATED: Riding someone else's motorcycle? Be ready to prove you're not a criminal

The law, which was met with protests and was ordered suspended by President Rodrigo Duterte in April 2019, requires a motorcycle owner — defined in the act as both the registered owner and "any person who has actual control and possession of motorcycle" — to have the registration transferred to their name within five days of acquisition.

Failure to transfer ownership is penalized by up to six years in prison or a fine of P20,000 to P50,000, or both.

It also requires motorycles to display their license plate number on the front of the unit, a provision that riders protested as being potentially unsafe.

The Land Transportation Office recently placed the implementation of this provision on hold due to the non-availability of the license plates and stickers which was aggravated by the pandemic.

Gordon, who chairs the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, said his office monitored 112 killings perpetrated by motorcycle-riding gunmen from January 1 to July 5.

"The latest of [these killings] were Executive Master Sergeant Arnold Paclibar in Sultan Kudarat and Aladdin Alon in Maguindanao. Both were killed while manning checkpoints in their areas on July 3," he said.

He also cited the killing of a 15-year-old girl in Ilocos Sur by motorcycle-riding gunmen on July 2.

"While motorcycle riders have been essential in keeping the economy going amid the pandemic, we cannot deny that there are criminals who make use of motorcycles to perpetrate crimes. This law will not only make it easier to catch up with these criminals, it would also protect law-abiding motorcycle owners," Gordon said.

There is no equivalent law for motorists driving cars that are not registered under their name. There are also no checkpoints — the Philippine National Police has an "Oplan Sita" for motorcyclists — specifically aimed at car drivers. 

This, even as the Ermita police station on Tuesday confirmed that gunmen aboard an SUV shot dead the chief inquest prosecutor of Manila City. 

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