Senator Richard J. Gordon said he is open to amending Republic Act 11235 or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act of 2019 if, a year after it has been implemented, the new law will not succeed in deterring crimes perpetrated by riding-in-tandems (RIT), especially extra-judicial killings (EJK).
Gordon, principal author and sponsor of the law, said he is amenable to lowering the fines stipulated in the bill and to filing an amendatory bill after one year of implementation if RIT crimes would continue.
“Yung multa, pwedeng babaan, pwedeng pag-usapan, pero kailangan ng amendment. Dapat pairalin na muna ito at sumunod muna tayo sa batas. Hindi pa nga pinapairal e binabaril na natin e. (The penalty may be lowered, we can discuss; but we need amendment. We need to implement the law first. We haven’t implemented it, yet it’s getting some flak already.) Let’s make the law work first. I will be the one to amend it if it doesn’t work,” he said.
The senator, who chairs the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, pointed out that in enacting RA 11235, the government is now taking measures to address EJK which has been a plague in the country for the past several decades, with RIT assassins among the major contributors to EJK.
“Everybody is complaining about EJK, everyone is condemning it, yet no one has done something to prevent EJK – until now. This is taking action against EJK. We are giving justice to the thousands of victims in the past three decades who could no longer speak. How do we do that? We limit the opportunity for criminals to commit crimes with impunity by using motorcycles to flee from the crime scene swiftly and easily,” Gordon stressed.
“Ang importante dito ay yung kapayapaan at kaligtasan ng mga mamamayang Pilipino na bigla na lang babarilin ng RIT – mag-asawa, judge, fiscal, atbp. Pag binaril, syempre madaling tumakas pagka motorsiklo at kung walang plaka e talagang matatakasan ka. Dito sa batas na ito, kung wala kang plaka mahuhuli ka agad; kung yung plaka mo binura, may fine yan; kung di mo pinarehistro yung motorsiklo, mo may fine. Dahil kitang-kita ang plaka, pag may bumaril, may laban kahit papaano ang tao. May puwang ang tao na ma-identify nila yung pumapatay. Hindi ito panghahalay o panglalait sa mga motorcycle riders. Ito’y para sa mga namamatay,” (What is important here is peace and the safety of the Filipinos who are suddenly shot by RIT — couple, judge, fiscal, etc.—of course, when shot, it’s easy and fast to get out of the crime scene because of the motorcycle, and if the motorcycle has no plate, the perpetrators can easily get away with the crime. On this law, if you don’t register your motorcycle, you will be apprehended; if you don’t have a plate, you will be apprehended; if you erase your plate, you will be fined. There is a chance that the perpetrators may be identified. This is not to degrade the motorcycle riders; this is for those who died.), he added.
PNP records showed that of the total of 28,409 motorcycle riding crimes or incidents reported from 2010 to 2017, 13,062 or 46% of which were shooting incidents. And out of over 4,000 motorcycle riding crimes or incidents in 2016, only eight cases (0.18%) were solved. (Bagong Senado)