This statement was Senator Richard Gordon‘s reaction to President Rodrigo Duterte’s proposal to suspend the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act or Republic Act (RA) No. 11235 from getting implemented in the country.
According to Manila Standard, the President announced his plans to suspend the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act this week, citing them as unsafe.
The law, which requires “color coded” license plates to be displayed at the front and back of the motorcycle, also requires them to be readable even from a distance of 15 meters. According to the President, having two plate numbers on the front and the rear of a motorcycle is hazardous, and would be “dangerous to place another gadget” in front of a motorcycle as it could pierce through the rider’s helmet.
Moreover, the President insisted that the PHP50,000 fine for violators is too high. He proposed to lower it to PHP10,000 to PHP15,000, instead.
Senator JV Ejercito backs the President’s proposal, and calls it “a sigh of relief for the motorcycle-riding community.”
“You can’t suspend the Motorcycle Law”
Meanwhile, principal author and sponsor of the law, Senator Richard Gordon, cited the move to be irrevocable.
“Hindi pwedeng suspendehin ang batas. Batas na, pinirmahan na niya ‘yan e (You can’t suspend a law. It’s already a law, he already signed it),” Gordon said during an interview with Radyo Inquirer.
Still, he added that it can be amended next year.
Should the President insist on suspending the law, he reminded the head of state of his sworn duty to “execute all laws and to do justice to every man.”
Gordon explained that the size of the actual license plates to be printed are only a fourth of what was stated in the law. He also justified the heavy fines for violators, saying how a number of reported deaths were caused by “riding-in-tandem” assassins/gunmen.
“Dead men tell no tales”
“They can no longer seek justice for themselves,” Gordon added. “How do we do justice to this people? You limit the way people can get away with riding without motor plates and riding with stolen motorcycles.”
He also added that the law can be in favor of the President, who has been charged by the International Criminal Court (ICC) with murder and crimes against humanity due to extrajudicial killings in the Philippines. Many of these killings were said to be perpetrated by riding in tandem motorcyclists.
“Hindi ba tinitira nga siya sa ICC, na ang daming pinapatay, karamihan nang pinapatay, naka-motorsiklo, extrajudicial killings…o, may ginawa ngayon ang gobyerno, hindi na basta makakapatay ‘’yang mga yan, mahahabol na. Pabor pa sa kanya yun eh (Wasn’t the ICC hitting at him for the numbers of people being killed, mostly by those riding-in-tandem or extrajudicial killings… now that the government is doing something, these suspects can’t just easily kill people; they can now be chased down. This law is in favor of him),” he said.
Gordon also added that he will try to explain the double license plate law to the President to “give justice to victims of riding-in-tandem shooters who could no longer seek justice because ‘dead men tell no tales.'”