MANILA – Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Sunday called for the return of the ban on motorcyclists riding in tandem to help curb crime across the country.
Panelo made this remark after the Philippine National Police (PNP) launched its Tactical Motorcycle Riding Units (TMRUs) and secret marshals on motorcycles to boost its fight against riding-in tandem hitmen.
TMRUs are strategically trained motorcycle-mounted patrollers who can immediately respond to any incident perpetrated by motorcycle-riding suspects while secret marshals in motorcycles are dedicated covert operatives who are involved in the actual monitoring of motorcycle-riding suspects in the validated list.
According to Panelo, an anti-riding-in-tandem policy is the only way to prevent riding-in-tandem shootings.
“Ipagbawal nalang natin yung merong sumasakay sa motorsiklo. Tama lang yung isa lang (We should just ban two people from riding a motorcycle. One person is enough),” he said.
While he acknowledged how couples or parents and their children would sometimes ride together, he pointed out that sacrifices are needed to ensure everyone’s safety.
“You have to choose between this and that kasi kung hindi bawal yung may kaangkas, e palaging merong ganyan (because if we don’t prevent riding-in-tandem, there will always be shootings) because they can always pretend to be husband and wife, they can always pretend to be husband and son,” he said.
Meanwhile, Panelo also there is a need to boost the manpower of the country’s police force to prevent riding-in-tandem shootings and other crimes.
Panelo emphasized how a highly visible police presence would help deter crimes from being committed.
“Ang katotohanan po diyan, kulang ang mga pulis natin (The truth is, we lack police officers). I think we have to increase the number of policemen in this country,” he said.
Currently, there are around 220,000 officers and personnel in the PNP.The PNP aims to achieve a police-to-population ratio of 1:489 by 2022. (PNA)