MANILA -- The new law requiring bigger and more readable number plates for motorcycles will help decrease crimes committed by motorcycle-riding criminals.
National Capital Regional Police Office chief, Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, said Thursday the NCRPO fully supports the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, which is also known as Republic Act 11235.
“We agree with the spirit, purpose and end-objective of this law. We believe that this law will help decrease crimes committed by motorcycle-riding criminals such as snatchers, holdup men and assassins,” Eleazar said in a statement.
Eleazar also noted that the new law is not meant to discriminate motorcycle riders.
“One argument by those who are against the new law is that they are 'riders, not criminals'. Well, the new law never generalized that riders are criminals. The law simply allows for an easier system to catch criminals in motorcycles as these evil people do not wear plates at all. It will be easier now for the police to flag down and investigate those without plates, because of the new law. We do not even need a checkpoint now to perform our function legally,” he explained.
Eleazar also urged the public to comply with the new law.
“Let's give it a try. This law has been studied well by the members of our Congress and should be good for the great majority of our residents in Metro Manila at the end of the day,” Eleazar said.
He said that based on data, crimes perpetrated by motorcycle-riding criminals in Metro Manila have gone down by 53 percent from 2017 to 2018 last year, with murder specifically down by 85 percent over the same period.
The Metro Manila top cop said through this law, the police can bring down the crime volume that motorcycle-riding criminals generate, "to lower and lower levels over the months and years to come".
On Tuesday a policeman from the NCRPO was shot dead by riding-in-tandem assassins in broad daylight along EDSA corner Connecticut Street in San Juan City. In the same thoroughfare, also in broad daylight, a businessman was killed by assassins on motorcycles just a few months ago.
Signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on March 8, the new law mandates that motorcycles must have plate numbers at the front and rear portions that are large enough to be read clearly from a distance of 15 meters. These plates will also be color coded.
It will also penalize motorcycle drivers not using the readable plates with prision correccional (imprisonment between six months and one day to six years) as stated in the Revised Penal Code or pay a fine of not less than PHP50,000 but not more than PHP100,000 or both.
Authorities can apprehend motorcycle riders and seize their vehicles if it does not have the proper number plate. The motorcycle owner can only retrieve it after complying with the requirement.
It also imposes tough penalties for the use of motorcycles in commission of crimes.
The newly-signed law ordered the Land Transportation Office to conduct consultations with law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders for its implementing rules and regulations. (PNA)
Photo by Percival Peloniar/ABS-CBN News