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Duterte signs law requiring bigger, color-coded plates for motorcycles

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, March 14th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law requiring bigger and color-coded number plates in motorcycles.

Duterte signed the Republic Act 11235 or the “Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act” last March 8. A copy of the law was released by Malacañang on Thursday (March 14).

The law aims to prevent crimes by making number plates more readable and color-coded based on the Philippine regions for quick and easy identification.

A motorcycle owner, under the measure, must register his motorcycle within five days after purchase. Failure to comply would result in imprisonment or a fine of P25,000.

Driving without a readable number plate can result in imprisonment and a fine of P50,000 to P100,000. Law enforcers will also seize the motorcycle and will only be released upon proof of ownership, payment of the costs of seizure, and compliance with a number plate or readable number plate.

Law enforcers unable to report or surrender a seized motorcycle to the joint operations and control center of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Land Transportation Office (LTO) within 24 hours may also face jail time.

Law enforcers may also be held monetarily liable if a seized motorcycle sustains damage or gets lost while in their custody. Criminal, administrative and monetary complaints may also be filed if they use an impounded vehicle.

If a motorcycle number plate is lost, damaged or stolen, its owner is required to immediately report it and request a replacement. Failure to do so would subject the owner to a fine of P20,000 to P50,000.

The use of stolen plates will be meted out a fine of P50,000 to P100,000.

If proven that a motorcycle was used for a crime of grave felony or escape from the scene of a crime, its owner, driver and passenger will face 12 to 40 years in prison.

An impounding center will also be set up and a digital data of seized motorcycles will be shared real-time with the PNP and LTO. 

The Joint LTO and PNP Operations and Control Center will have a hotline to address concerns relating to crimes committed with the use of motorcycles.

The new law mandates the LTO and other concerned government agencies to produce the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Act within 90 days from its effectivity.

Motorcycle owners with number plates not in conformity with the law’s provisions are required to renew their registration and apply for the new number plates before June 30 this year.

The LTO will have until December 31, 2019 to produce and release the number plates.

The penal provisions of the new law will take effect by next year. – Robie de Guzman

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Alias ‘Bikoy’ should prove allegations to be credible — Malacañang

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

(L-R) Vice President Leni Robredo and Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday (May 23) refused to give its assessment on the credibility of Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy following the retraction of his previous claims.

Advincula previously confessed as the man behind a series of narco-videos entitled “Ang Totoong Narcolist” that linked President Rodrigo Duterte and his family to illegal drugs trade.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, Advincula should submit first evidence that would prove his claims and allegations against the personalities he was implicating.

The Palace is leaving it up to the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) on what charges they will file against Advincula as consequences of his actions and for any violations of the law.

“We will have to wait for Bikoy or Advincula to substantiate his charges and after that we’ll see if there are charges to be filed in court then the truth will come out,” Panelo said.

“As I said repeatedly, no matter how you close, you cover, truth will always come out,” he added.

Malacañang, meanwhile, strongly denied the allegation of opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV who claimed that alias Bikoy’s retraction was another ploy by the Duterte administration to pin down the opposition.

“In the first place the opposition has been harassing this government, this administration. they are the ones sowing intrigues as we repeatedly said,” Panelo said.

Advincula surrendered to the police and revealed that everything he said in the videos were orchestrated by the Liberal Party (LP) and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

Vice President Leni Robredo in a televised conference following Advincula’s surrender said all allegations is “unfair” to the opposition party.

“Napakaraming pangalan na nasambit. Ang Liberal Party once again (ay) nahila dito sa controversy. I can speak for the party. Wala kaming kinalaman dito sa Bikoy issue,” Robredo said.

“There were so many names mentioned. The Liberal Party was once again tagged in the controversy. I can speak for the party. We have nothing to do with this Bikoy issue.)

“Unfair na isali uli ang LP dito. Kung ito ay harassment, kung ito ay ginagawang paraan para lalong yurakan o tapakan ang Liberal Party o kaming nasa oposisyon, hindi ito magiging dahilan para magpatinag tayo, para huminto tayo sa pagpupuna kung may kailangang punahin,” she concluded.

(I find it unfair to again tag LP. If this is harassment to pull down the Liberal Party or the opposition, this will not be a reason for us to stop to criticize.) (with reports from Rosalie Coz) Marje Pelayo

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President Duterte also has a right to privacy—DOJ

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte greets members of Japan’s House of Councillors during their courtesy call together with Japan House of Councillors President Chuichi Date, at the Malacañan Palace on January 8, 2019. RENE LUMAWAG/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte also enjoys the right to privacy under the Constitution, according to Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

In a text message, the Justice Secretary said the president will only be obligated to disclose his health to the public if he is suffering a serious illness.

“The Constitution requires the President to divulge any serious illness on his part. But if the illness is not serious enough to affect the discharge of his official functions, the President has no duty to inform anyone,” he said.

Guevarra added that if Duterte’s illness will not disrupt his duty as president, the he is not obligated to inform the public.

During the weekend, there were rumors circulating that President Duterte was confined in Cardinal Santos Medical Center. However, on Sunday (May 19), former Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go posted photos of him and President Duterte enjoying breakfast.

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Former Senator Alvarez withdraws from congressional race

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Sunday, May 12th, 2019

Former Senator Heherson Alvarez (Photo courtesy: Dayao Ti Amianan)

Former Senator Heherson Alvarez has withdrawn his bid for a congressional seat in the 4th congressional district of Isabela, two days ahead of the May 13 Midterm Elections.

In his statement released on Saturday (May 11), Alvarez who “had hoped that this election would have been (his) last effort to render public service after several decades of cumulative experience,” said that the blatant practice of vote-buying had led to his decision to withdraw.

The former lawmaker claimed that “the massive and overwhelming vote-buying makes the electoral process a sham.”

He added that “vote-buying is vote-killing and it is as destructive to our democracy as drug is as destructive to our physical well-being.”

Alvarez also said that he “cannot continue in this political exercise that violates (the) precious political freedom of choice of leaders.”

He called on the public to renounce, denounce and withdraw tolerance on vote-buying lest the country withers away because of it.

He also cited President Rodrigo Duterte’s warning to jail the perpetrators of vote-buying and to “make those who undermine our free suffrage accountable to our laws and constitution.”

The former senator also thanked the President for his endorsement as the standard bearer of Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) in Isabela’s 4th congressional district.

He also made an appeal for the people to “stand up and assist the President to strengthen our democratic system.” /mbmf

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