De Lima calls law on motorcycle crime prevention anti-poor and oppressive

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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has bewailed the recent passage into law of a measure requiring bigger number plates for motorcycles not only as discriminatory but also anti-poor.

De Lima, who chairs the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, said those who lobbied for the passage of the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act failed to see that the law is not the solution for crime prevention.

“Singling out a specific group to mask the government’s incapacity and inability to weed out criminals and fight criminality is not only tantamount to incompetence, but also reckless and outright discriminatory towards our kababayans who make use of motorcycles to earn a living,” she said in her recent Dispatch from Crame No. 497.

“I can only presume that those who pushed for the passage of this Act either lack the foresight to anticipate the ingenuity of career criminals, or the promise of bringing down criminality has blinded them to acquiescence for a law that is more reactionary than proactive towards bringing down criminality,” she added.

The “Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act,” logged as Republic Act (RA) 11235, was signed by Mr. Duterte last March 8. It aims to prevent crimes committed on motorcycles by requiring bigger and color-coded motorcycle number plates.

Under Section 5 of RA 11235, “readable number plates must be displayed in both the front and back sides of a motorcycle and shall be made of suitable and durable material as determined by the Land Transportation Office (LTO).”

De Lima, a human rights and social justice champion, pointed out that the penalties under the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act are deplorable because of the inequalities they promote.

De Lima noted that motorcycle riders not using the larger, plates will be punished by prision correccional from six months and one day to six years or a fine of not less than ?50,000 but not more than ?100,000, or both.

In contrast, she continued, drivers of vehicles not covered under this Act who drive without license plates will only be slapped with a fine that falls between ?5,000 and ?10,000.

“The disparity is both glaring and appalling. Given that a large majority of those who make use of motorcycles belong to the lower socioeconomic classes who can ill afford such exorbitant fines, this Act can definitively be labeled as ‘anti-poor’ itself,” she said.

“From where I sit, R.A. 11235 is an oppressive law,” De Lima added.

The lady Senator from Bicol said the government should listen to the strong opposition of the motorcycle riders who believe that RA 11235 contains provisions that can put their lives and that of the public in extreme danger.

“Dapat nating pakinggan ang tinig ng ating mga kababayan na siyang direktang maaapektuhan ng batas na ito. Kung hindi ay magiging dagdag na naman ito sa mga polisiyang Duterte na kontra lamang sa mga mahihirap,” she said.

Last month, thousands of motorcycle riders staged a National Unity Ride along Edsa in Quezon City and other parts of the country to protest the bigger license plates. Despite her continued unjust detention, De Lima continues to file meaning bills and resolutions that aim to improve the plight of the Filipinos, especially the poor and marginalized sectors.

Office of Senator Leila de Lima
Rm. 502 & 16 (New Wing 5/F) GSIS Bldg., Financial Center, Diokno Blvd., Pasay City

Trunk Lines:
(632) 552-6601 to 70 local no. 5750

Direct Lines:
807-8489 / (Rm. 16) 807-8580 /local 8619

[email protected]

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