A TOTAL of 173 suspected car and motorcycle thieves were arrested by agents of the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) during the 1st 90-days of the Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ R. Marcos Jr.’s presidency, PNP chief, General Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr. said yesterday.
Azurin said the arrests were made by the PNP-HPG headed by Brigadier Gen. Clifford B. Gairanod from July 1 to September 28, 2022. A total of 55 cases for violation of Republic Act 10883 or the New Anti-Carnapping Act of 2013 which punishes vehicle theft in the country have been filed against the arrested suspects, he added.
During the period, a total of 48 motor vehicles and 276 motorcycles were reported to have been stolen or an average of 3.64 vehicles per day. Azurin said the PNP-HPG also recovered 172 motor vehicles and 63 motorcycles during the same 90-day period or a 2.64 recovery efficiency per day.
The PNP-HPG also recorded zero casualty during the conduct of anti-carnapping operations with the 173 suspects being arrested after offering no resistance.
Azurin has ordered the PNP-HPG to further intensify their crackdown against car theft, highway robbery and hijackings since the 1st day he was appointed by President Marcos as the 28th PNP chief.
The PNP-HPG has also intensified its enforcement of the country’s traffic code to ensure the safety of motorists and the rest of the general public.
Being the so-called ‘Guardians of the Highway,’ officers of the PNP-HPG from September 16-22 alone have impounded a total of 722 motor vehicles and motorcycles.
The accomplishments of the PNP-HPG got the nod of the top cop who congratulated the ‘Guardians of the Highways’ for ensuring that motorists who are violating the traffic code and other rules and regulations will be apprehended to ensure the safety of the general public.
The PNP-HPG said that during the weeklong period, a total of 108 motor vehicles were impounded for violation of Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.
Another 614 motorcycles were likewise impounded by different Regional Highway Patrol Units nationwide for violation of RA 4136 and other traffic ordinances enacted by local government units.
Gairanod said that among those accosted by his men were drivers of motor vehicles with unauthorized HPG logo/stickers in their windshields; two drivers with illegal horns; 119 for using blinkers/illegal lights; and 37 motorbike drivers with modified mufflers.
The PNP-HPG director said that during the period, his men also recovered six stolen motor vehicles and two stolen motorcycles and arrested nine suspects involved in motor vehicle theft.
Gairanod added he has also ordered a stepped-up enforcement of RA 4136 in busy highways in the country including the Marilaque Road in Rizal which has been a regular scene of accidents involving so-called ‘Kamote Riders’ performing dangerous motorcycle stunts in the area.
Otherwise known as the Marikina-Infanta Highway, Marilaque Highway is a scenic mountain 117.5-kilomer highway that connects Metro Manila with Rizal, Laguna and Infanta, Quezon.
Gairanod said he has ordered regular HPG patrols in the area to apprehend irresponsible motorcycle drivers.
At the same time, Gairanod said he has instructed his men to go all-out in their efforts to apprehend unauthorized users of sirens and blinkers. He added that since last August 8, they have already apprehended a number of civilian law enforcers found using sirens and blinkers on their motorcycles while providing unauthorized escort service to their patrons.
Gairanod said he has also turned down a request from some local government units and agencies to allow them to use the gadgets since they are not covered by the law.
Under Presidential Decree 96, only marked vehicles of the Presidential Security Group, PNP, Armed Forces, fire trucks and hospital ambulances are allowed to use sirens and blinkers.
The President, Vice-President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court are the only government officials allowed to attach the devices on their official vehicles.