Motorcycle ‘tandem’ killers

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Thursday, January 23, 2014


THE proposal of Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada to ban riding in-tandem on motorcycles, announced Jan. 17 during the 13th anniversary of the Manila Police District, was promptly shot down, ironically by Dante Jimenez of Volunteers against Crime and Corruption (VCC).

The anti-crime group, which by its mission should've readily backed the idea, took the side of individual liberty, instead of focusing on public safety.

VCC said the ban would violate the Constitution, which guarantees right to travel.

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While public safety is an exception to that right, there's no law prohibiting in-tandem riders.

Public opinion most likely will oppose such a law as many Filipino families rely on motorcycles for mobility. A common sight is of father, mom, and kids on one vehicle, often with helmet-less back-riders.

What must have agitated Mayor Estrada is the current rash of murders pulled by “tandem” riders using the bike's speed to kill and flee.

The getaway vehicle of choice has become so widely and frequently used that law enforcers and public officials have plotted counter-moves, from banning visor and face cover, and requiring printed plate number, on helmets, to Erap's idea of prohibiting in-tandem riding.

'Pang-script'

Checkpoints, tighter enforcement of gun laws and more diligent sleuthing haven't worked. Would it come eventually to outlawing motorcycles?

Instead of dismissing Erap's plan as "pang-movie script," an obvious dig on the former president's film-acting background, VCC may push other means to curb motorcycle heists.

(paseares@sunstar.com.ph)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 24, 2014.

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