PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa has instructed the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) to step up operations against colorum public transportation vehicles following the order of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“As we continue public safety operations and to provide security and assistance to motorists, the PNP is taking an active role in implementing transport safety protocols being observed by the Department of Transportation and its bureaus and attached agencies,” he said.

“On orders of President Rodrigo Duterte, we are waging aggressive operations against colorum public transportation that pose great risk to travelers. The HPG will lead police operations to implement this,” he added.

Duterte ordered the PNP to take part in the government’s anti-colorum drive after a Dimple Star bus fell off in a cliff in Occidental Mindoro which resulted in the death of 19 passengers.

He said there is no one else to blame but the government for not being able to deter the proliferation of public utility vehicles that are operating without franchises.

Duterte said police can kill drivers and operators of colorum vehicles if they resist arrest.

HPG director Chief Superintendent Arnel Escobal said they have already impounded 32 colorum buses from the National Capital Region, Calabarzon, Central Visayas and Davao regions.

Dela Rosa said this campaign will not only improve protection of passengers, but also decongest the roads.

"I am advising them damihan pa ninyo para luluwag itong Edsa. Ituloy ninyo panghuhuli n'yo. Alam ko marami pa diyan iyong double plate, kambal plaka, marami pa 'yan para luluwag ang Edsa," he said.

(I told HPG to continue the campaign to decongest Edsa. There are a lot of vehicles with double plates.) (SunStar Philippines)