Abra town to regulate riding in tandem


BANGUED, Abra May 09 – The municipal council here approved an ordinance regulating riding in tandem as one of the local peace and order initiatives to curb the use of motorcycles in shooting incidents and contribute in reducing riding in tandem shooting incidents in preparation for the solid peace and order programs for the upcoming May 2016 elections.

The ordinance No. 48 series of 2015 Regulating Motorcycle Riding in Tandem in the Municipality of Bangued authored by Councilor Joel Bolante and co-authored by all members of the Sangguniang Bayan prohibits male back riders or passengers who are not within the first degree of consanguinity of the driver.

Bolante explained the ordinance is aimed at controlling criminality in Bangued as many killing and shooting incidents are often perpetrated by criminal elements using motorcycles as modes of transport in executing their criminal acts considering the fact that the seat of government is in the capital town, thus, the need to initiate programs to aver the commission of crimes that tend to taint the image of the whole province.

“We are elated that the ordinance was able to pass the review of the provincial board because we really need to implement significant programs and initiatives to lessen the proliferation of shooting incidents in the capital town, especially with the expected political rivalry that would result to violence in the upcoming elections next year,” Bolante stressed.

For the past three decades, Abra has been tagged as the killing fields of the north because of the proliferation of numerous violent incidents that resulted to the untimely death of feuding politicians and their supporters, raising a culture of fear and violence among the people.

Bolante said the implementation of the ordinance will contribute in changing the peace and order landscape of the province with barely less than a year before the May 2016 elections and just over five months before the filing of certificates of candidacy of politicians aspiring for various elected positions.

The Bangued councilor disclosed the ordinance was patterned after a similar Riding in Tandem Ordinance in Mandaluyong City also crafted as a deterrent to crimes and that it is expected to take effect on May 16 following the conduct of consultations with all stakeholders who seemingly favoured the implementation of the local legislative measure to curb the proliferation of riding in tandem incidents here.

Section 4 of the Ordinance states that  all motorcycle riding in tandem is allowed when the back rider is a female, a spouse of the driver and a relative within the first degree of consanguinity and a child from 7 to 10 years old.

Also allowed to be riding in tandem are members of the Philippine National Police and the Philippine National Police who are on-duty and in complete uniform and using red plate motorcycles.

The ordinance also sets penalties of PhP 1,000 penalty for the first offense, PhP 2,000 penalty for the second offense, PhP 2,500 penalty for third offense violation or three months imprisonment are both at the discretion of the court.

Councilor Bolante emphasized the ordinance is now in the process of information dissemination before it will be implemented by the PNP by May 16 after the Sangguniang Panlalawigan approved the local measure.

He cited the ordinance will also be due for evaluation within six months as the municipal council will be addressing concerns that riding in tandem activities of criminals may also be perpetrated by women, father and son tandems and other perpetrators as he claimed the ordinance will be up for review by the municipal council to make it an effective measure to fight criminality and be a lasting peace and order initiative that will significantly put an end to the proliferation of riding in tandem incidents in the town.

While he disclosed there was much debate prior to the approval of the ordinance, the end goal of their ordinance was to prevent fear from proliferating especially during the election period and to lessen shooting incidents in the province to sustain the initial gains of the May 2013 mid-term elections that resulted to Abra having achieved zero election-related violence and incidents then.

The PNP is expected to submit to the municipal council a periodic assessment on the implementation of the local legislative measure in order to facilitate the introduction of amendments that would strengthen its implementation for the benefit of the attainment of lasting peace in the province.

By Dexter A. See