Police: Mechanisms 'in place' vs car theft

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Friday, May 2, 2014


THE practice of transferring a vehicle’s official receipt and certificate of registration (OR-CR) without further verification has made carjacking in the country remain unabated, said Northern Mindanao’s top prosecutor.

Regional Prosecutor Jaime Umpa said that a car’s OR-CR is transferable, “that is why di mahinto-hinto and carnapping (carnapping doesn’t end).”

Umpa was recently involved in a legal battle when he took back his carjacked vehicle. Two years ago, two men posed as prospective buyers and didn’t return the car after they had it tested.

He said one can easily get away with carjacking by just flashing the OR-CR of the stolen vehicle to inspecting authorities.

But the Regional Highway Patrol (RHP) thinks otherwise.

Police Office 3 (PO3) Serg Constantine, investigator and police non-commission officer of the RHP-Northern Mindanao, said that victims of carnapping can file a complaint and alarm sheet for the highway patrol to put up checkpoints and be on the lookout for the stolen vehicle.

“Once na may complained na alarm sheet, yan po ay mag-alarma sa buong Pilipinas (Once there is an alarm sheet, it would go throughout the country),” Constantine said.

“Di po kami basta-basta nanghuhuli ng sasakyan ng walang katibayan (We don’t just intercept vehicles without proof),” he added.

Umpa was able to meet all the requirements to file an alarm sheet like the deed of sale, OR-CR, and acknowledgments.

To obtain clearance through the checkpoints, a car must present a driver’s license, ORCR issued by Land Transportation Office (LTO) and deed of sale.

LTO’s job “is not on criminal actions but the administrative action,” said lawyer Dominador Awitan, chief operations division of LTO-Northern Mindanao.

Awitan said that LTO has records of registered vehicles through computerized registration and licensing.

However, these records are not readily available to the public, he added.

Requirements for transfer of ownership are original copies of OR-CR, deed of transfer/sales, City Highway Patrol Group clearance, insurance certificate of cover, confirmation of registration certificate, board of resolution of secretary’s certificate if the vendor or transferor is a corporation, and actual inspection of motor vehicle and accomplished MVIR.

Constantine said the RHP has "techniques" to verify if a car is named or has a genuine ownership.

RHP has a direct link to LTO in Manila for the list of registered cars in the Philippines.

“Basta naka-encode na yan sa HPG VIMS (Highway Patrol Group Vehicle Information Management System), and chassis at plate number mo, hindi na makakalusot ang mag-aapply na sa clearance for any purpose,” Constantine said.

They also have a crime laboratory office where forensic chemists examine the chassis and engine number.

Constantine said that in 2013, there were 85 recorded violations of Republic Act (RA) 6539 or anti-carnapping act of 1972 and RA 4136 or Land Transportation and Traffic code.

From January to April 2014, 27 cases were already recorded of violations of the said laws.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 03, 2014.

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