No plates and new plates

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By Dennis Limlingan

The Advocate

Thursday, May 8, 2014


IN RESPONSE to the increasing number of crimes involving vehicles, the Pampanga Police Provincial Office is intensifying its "No Plate, No Travel Policy" in line with Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code of the Philippines.

It can be recalled that some localities in the province is implementing this, however, on a seasonal basis. Police authorities sometimes implement this policy through the establishment of checkpoints especially when election nears.

Crime however, has no season as anyone with the criminal mind and intent can always perpetrate his illicit act regardless of place, time and date.

Thieves are even compared with death as they come even in the deep of the night. Criminals are often unpredictable as to when they will strike.

The policy is a good deterrent to crimes as those with the bad intent have to escape and of course, wouldn’t want to be identified with their escape vehicles.

With the said policy, among those who will be discouraged are the motorcycle-riding-criminals (MRCs) who have proliferated lately. A number of incidents involving the shooting and killing of victims have been executed by criminals riding in tandem on motorbikes.

The motorbikes they are riding in have no plate numbers, purposely removed to avoid being identified by their victims or by other witnesses, thus giving them a greater chance to remain scot-free while their victims cry out for justice.

Just recently, a woman who has just withdrawn from an automated teller machine (atm) some amount of cash was attacked by motorcycle riding-in-tandem. Her bag, containing her money, her gadgets and other important documents was snatched by the culprits.

The woman victim, with her want to report the criminals to the authorities gave only police investigators the description of the motorcycle but not the plate number since it has nothing attached to the plate holder of the two-wheeled vehicle.

There are cars meanwhile which have been carnapped and never been recovered because of their lack of plate numbers. There are carnappers on the other hand that change the cars’ plate numbers albeit illegally to avoid being identified when an alarm has been sounded with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the police.

The intensification of the implementation of the “No Plate, No Travel Policy” is a good sign that the police are doing their job. We just have to hope that this will not be made “seasonal” since, as we have said, some criminals sometimes strike when we least expect them to. LTO officers as well as policemen should be vigilant in apprehending drivers of vehicles without plate numbers except when with justifiable reasons.

Checkpoints should likewise be regularly conducted to discourage and deter criminals from doing any atrocities because of the fact that they might be identified and apprehended at checkpoints.

Vehicle owners or drivers meanwhile, should cooperate with authorities by avoiding driving vehicles without their plate numbers.

***

Speaking of plate numbers, many are excited on the release of the new plate numbers of vehicles which will be issued by the LTO. The new design aside from its simple yet aesthetic look, is said to be equipped with security features that will stop criminals from changing vehicles plate numbers of fabricating them in order to avoid identification and apprehension.

The new aluminum metal plates have their alpha numeric inscriptions in black color printed on white background. This color combination makes poor-sighted people to easily see them even at night or when the vehicle is parked on the dim-lighted area.

With their European look, the new plate numbers are elegantly designed. Their release sad to note, has been long delayed. The LTO has announced last year that the new plate numbers would be released last April. Until now, I haven’t seen any yet on the road sporting the new plate numbers issued by the LTO, except for the samples that the said office has shown to the public.

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For any comments, ideas, suggestions or opinions, text or call The Advocate at 09213636360 or send email at dencious@yahoo.com.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on May 09, 2014.

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