Duterte seeks suspension of ‘doble plaka’ law

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 8, 2019   •   1696

Thousands of motorcycle riders on March 24, 2019, staged a protest along EDSA to express their opposition to the implementation of double plates on motorcycles.

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is seeking the suspension of the ‘doble plaka’ law saying, bigger license plates can be dangerous for motorcycle riders.

In a speech on Saturday (April 6), Duterte said he will talk to Senator Richard Gordon about the proposition to amend several provisions in the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act.

He will first convince the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to suspend the implementation of the double plates.

“Kasi it is not good. It is dangerous to place another gadget, lalo na may kanto. May kanto iyang plate number. It could be a plastic or it could be an aluminum but still with an impact, tutusok iyan sa helmet mo. Delikado. Anything that is sharp there, hindi maganda [Because it is not good. It is dangerous to place another gadget especially if there are corners. Plate numbers have corners. It could be a plastic or it could be aluminum but still with an impact, it will stab your helmet. Anything that is sharp is not good],” Duterte said.

The President suggested that instead of using double plates, it would be better to just increase the size of the current plates by 1/4 in order for it to be more readable.

He also wants to amend the fines imposed on violators. From P50,000, he wants to lower it to P10,000 to P15,000.

“Fifty thousand is mas mahal pa sa motor. Ano na lang sir, i-compromise siguro. Ako, I’m willing P10,000 to 15,000, okay na iyan [Fifty thousand, that is more expensive than the motorbike. Maybe there should be a compromise. I’m willing [to impose] P10,000 to P15,000, that is okay],” Duterte said.

The LTO is currently drafting the implementing rules and regulation of the new law, but it might still be subject to change depending on the President’s amendments.

Meanwhile Senator Richard Gordon has appealed to the President to give the implementation of the new law a chance before opposing it.

He said that the implementation can truly determine if the new law is effective or not.

He added that he is prepared to explain the law to the President and is also open to discussing the concerns the Chief Executive has raised.

President Duterte said he signed the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act on March 8 based on the recommendation of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Motorcycle riders lauded the President’s measure to temporarily suspend the implementation of the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act.

According to Atoy Cruz, president of the Motorcycle Federation of the Philippines, they are happy because the President understands their concerns.

However, Cruz clarified that they only want amendments on some of the provisions of the law and not its full abolition. —Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Grace Casin)

Duterte on Faeldon: ‘I still believe in him’

Marje Pelayo   •   September 9, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte still believes in former Bureau of Correction (BuCor) Chief Nicanor Faeldon despite his dismissal order.

For one, President Duterte noted Faeldon’s action of informing the President about a warehouse that stored billions of pesos worth of cigarette with fake tax stamps when he was still head of the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

That incident prompted the manufacturer to pay the government P37-B in tax.

This is one reason why despite the controversy that hounded the BuCor including the irregularities in conducting the law on Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA), President Duterte’s trust in Faeldon remains.

“Faeldon is a decent man. I still believe in him. There was a time when a businessman owned three warehouses filled with cigarettes with fake stamps,” the President said last Friday (September 6) at the groundbreaking ceremony and time capsule laying for the Naga permanent housing project.

“It was Faeldon who told me about it,” he added.

Malacañang clarified that it was not due to corruption that Faeldon was fired from office but because of disobeying the President’s order.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo noted, however, that Faeldon is not yet cleared as the Office of the Ombudsman is set to begin its investigations.

The Palace Spokesman added that it is the President who will decide whether or not to reappoint Faeldon to a different government position. – MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte on GCTA issue: ‘I suspect that corruption was present there’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 4, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte suspected that there might be corruption in the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) regarding the issue on the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law.

“I suspect that corruption was present there [at the BuCor]. Ibig sabihin, baka iyong iba, baka binili (meaning, some might have offered bribe). That’s why it’s important that we rearrest and re-investigate,” he said during a press briefing on Wednesday (Sept 4).

Duterte called on the released heinous crime convicts to surrender for a recomputation of their GCTA.

“I will give you 15 days liberty provided you make yourself available anytime that you will be called for an investigation to have a recomputation, or if there is an investigation of corruption then you cooperate fully,” he added.

During the Senate hearing on Wednesday, Senate President Senator Vicente Sotto III said there is an intelligence report on a so-called “GCTA for sale” in BuCor.

“Marami raw pera ang umikot, milyones daw (There is a lot of money involved, millions) we have intelligence report. I already shared [it] with Sen. Lacson,” said Sotto.—AAC (with reports from Grace Casin)

Duterte orders freed heinous crime convicts to surrender

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 4, 2019

Inmates at the Manila City Jail | Courtesy: Photoville International

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the heinous crime convicts who were released through the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law to surrender.

“All of you, released under GCTA, you surrender or have yourself registered under BuCor (Bureau of Corrections),” he said.

During a press conference on Wednesday (Sept 4), the Chief Executive has given them 15 days to surrender. He is also considering a P1 million reward for the re-arrest of each released heinous crime convict who refuses to surrender.

BuCor data shows that 1,914 heinous crime convicts have been released under the GCTA since 2014.

They also include the three convicts in the rape-slay of the Chiong sisters.

According to Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año, the PNP will track those who will not surrender to the authorities after the 15 days given by the president.

“They are given 15 days to show up and submit for investigation to recompute the GCTA. After the deadline, the PNP will track and arrest those who will not surrender themselves to authorities,” he said.—AAC

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