Dispatch from Crame No. 497: Sen. Leila M. de Lima on the Oppressiveness of the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act


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Laws can only be effective if the concerned government agencies mandated to implement them are able to do so capably and responsibly. However, the implementing agencies can only do so much if a law is fundamentally flawed to begin with, as is the case with Republic Act No. 11235, otherwise known as the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act.

What good is making use of larger plates to deter crime if the plates (or the motorcycles for that matter) were stolen to begin with? Critics of this law questioned its soundness. They point out that persons who intend to commit crimes on motorcycles have already considered this scenario and would most likely not use their own vehicles when breaking the law.

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.

Even the penalties under the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act are heavy-handed. For instance, Section 7 of this Act penalizes motorcycle riders not using the larger, more readable plates with prision correccional (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. On the other hand, drivers of vehicles not covered under this Act who drive without license plates are merely 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.

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.

From where I sit, R.A. 11235 is an oppressive law.

Duterte dropped the ball on this one by failing to veto the legislation when it arrived at Malacañang’s doorstep. It is now up to the LTO to craft an IRR that works for the people; a tall order indeed, given the Act’s apparent contempt against our working class.

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.

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


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