By MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
Motorcycle riding in tandem (MRT) hit men were popularized by Colombian 'Cocaine Queen" Griselda Blanco, known as the mentor of Columbia Medellin Cartel’s Boss Pablo Escobar, in the early 1980s when she ordered her sicarios or hitmen to travel by motorcycle, after some of her men used a car to carry out a killing, and were captured by the police while stuck in traffic.
“They are not only delinquent borrowers, some of them were corrupt,” my source told me.’
He cited that when a friend contracted the brass there for him to manufacture the identification cards (ID) of the students there several class advisers asked him how much was the one inch by one inch (1x1) photo that they said they were going to use for their students’ records, cards, and others.
“Dahil iyong picture naman ay duplicate doon sa I.D na ginawa namin, binigay ko na lang na P4 ang apat na one by one,” he stressed.
He learned later that some of these mentors were collecting P7 to P10 for that P4 pictures.
“Worst doon, iyong pinaka collector nila, pinabalik balik ako sa pag singil doon sa pera na sabi ng mga teachers na na-remit na nila sa kanya”.
He said he has even the tape recorded statements of the students who could attest that they paid up to P10 to some advisers
After browsing recently Jojo Robles' column in Manila Standard about the "jolting" experiences at the University of the Philippines to then Armed Forces Chief of Staff’s General Hermogenes John Esperon and later Budget Secretary Butch Abad where they were harassed (Esperon, in the Army service uniform, was pelted with eggs that hit instead two UP Professors) by radical leftist students, I recalled Bob Woodward book's The War Within where retired U.S four stars General and later CIA chief David Petraues (USMA Class 1974), brain behind the military surge in 2007 in Iraq), have been badgered and pestered by livid students of City University in New York. The students were shouting invectives and taunting the nonchalant Petraues, a jogging buff, with “War Criminal” and “Every class, David!”:
Here's the video of that incident incase you want to see the real score between a warrior by uncouth college students:http://www.theblaze.com/blog/2013/09/11/video-david-petraeus-harassed-and-bullied-by-ny-university-students
|Author (extreme right) Rubbing elbows at Starbucks Dagupan City with Pangasinan Police Provincial Director Rey Biay (PMA '86) and Dagupan City's Chief of Police Lt. Col. Cris Abrahano (PNPA '96) (extreme left). left|
The soft Spoken Senior Superintendent (Colonel in the military) Rey Biay, PMA Class 1986 and an Army trained Scout Ranger, cringed when I complimented him and Cris (PNPA Class 1996).
“Geez, for the last two weeks it seems there were no shooting incidents perpetrated by hired guns' motorcycle riding in tandem (MRT) in the humongous province”.
Biay, playing superstitious that I saw too with his predecessor Colonel Sterling Blanco, humorously knocked twice the edge of the table of Starbucks as if to drive out from us the bad luck brought by my message.
“Huwag naman sana!” he hopefully said that shooting would not break loose and claimed lives after my comment.
It happened during the almost six months stint of Blanco when a TV reporter lauded the then acting PD that there was a lull of shooting by MRT for weeks.
Son of a gun, after that compliment two or three Pangasinenses have been felled by hit men MRT that he and his men feared to aggravate the year on year or month on month (of the previous year) tolls that would make him look ugly compared to the shootings under his predecessor.
Here how’s the statistics were and are being used by the police to rebut those critics and naysayers of the institution:
“As per record of Pangasinan Police Provincial Office (PPO) shows that despite of cases stated by Dante Jimenez (of the Volunters Against Crime and Corruption), the province actually decreased by 18 incidents or 24.32% in number of shooting incidents as compared to the same period last year (June-August 2013 vs June -August 2014). What province are you comparing to us, sir? “ says the eloquent PPO Chief Inspector (Major in the military) Ryan Manongdo, whose gift of gab deprieves him to lead a police station in a town, as he gave a dig to Jimenez and Lawyer Ferdie Topacio when they descended last month in Dagupan City from their jungle skyscrapers’ offices in Imperial Manila to demonize the Philippine National Police in Pangasinan.
Uncontented to the generality he just cited, Manongdo dealt Jimenez and Topacio with the coup’d grace of specifis in the following data on the shooting incidents last year and this year:
Month 2013 2014 Variance
June 28 - 17 - 11
July 23 - 19 - 4
August 23 - 20 - 4
Total 74 - 56 - 18
18/74 = 24.32%
When I told the two officers and gentlemen at Starbucks that after the Performance Governance System-Integrated Transformation Program (PGS-ITP), a United States’ sanctioned evaluation at Camp Oscar M. Florendo in San Fernando City, La Union, where I was one of the panel members, Senior Supt. Marlou C. Chan, the panel head and the Regional Police Chief of the Directorial Staff, challenged me to have a friendly debate, just like what Senators have been doing quipped by Chan, where I argued my stance against the No-Helmet Law of Dagupan City’s Councilor Netu Tamayo, , while he sided with the lawyer Tamayo.
Chan, PMA 1985 and a shoo-in for a star rank anytime from now, have been reading my vehement opposition to the No- Helmet Law I even dubbed as a stupid measure in my blog while he saw its meritorious implications to discourage the spikes of deaths brought by MRT.
“I lauded the intention of the law, the only beef I have with it was it runs smack against the national Law’s Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009 (Republic Act No. 10054) where a first offender would be meted by P1,500 fine ; P3,000 for the second offense, P5,000 for the thirds offense and P10,000 plus confiscation of driver’s license for the fourth and succeeding offenses.
Besides, even LTO Regional Director Jojo Guadiz, a former city dad, threatened all and sundry that in the first day of implementation his personnel will swarm the Bangus City and start apprehending the violators. There would be anarchy on the street as legitimate motorcycle riders would be in a bind on the two edicts, ” I opined.
I added that Congress, not the City Council of Dagupan, is the right body to adopt Tamayo and the City Mayor Belen Fernandez Law. “Incase of conflict, national law prevails on local law,” as I quoted the oft repeated phrases in the Statutory Construction I read on the wrap of the Tinapa I bought in the market.
“What’s your proposal to solve the scourge brought by the MRT?” Biay posed to me.
I told him I got three that I wrote in my past column.
“One, emulate what the Honduran government has done three years ago (MRT shooting per year there had been 90% of the killings) where it allowed only female and a child where the latter can show an identification to show his consanguinity with the driver; Two, put a bold fonts of the plate number in front and back of the vest of the driver and the rider; Three, pass a law where motorists raised up their visors or/and sunglasses in their helmet whenever they enter the business district.
The first two have been adopted if not innovated by the cities of Mandaluyong and Quezon City while the last one has been my suggestion I put in my previous articles".
Oh by the way, Columbian Griselda Blanco, known as "The Queen of Cocaine ," and the mentor of Columbia Medellin Cartel’s Boss Pablo Escobar, is the “founder” of the now popular MRT when she ordered her sicarios or hitmen to travel by motorcycle, after some of her men used a car to carry out a killing, and were captured by the police while stuck in traffic. Ironically, Blanco was herself killed by motorcycle assassins in 2012.
“(MRT) is endemic. I saw how riders have been shot by cops who caught them perpetuating a robbery,” Lt. Colonel Abrahano cited what he saw in the internet’s YouTube.
Abrahano, a security conscious buff, who put a plugged on all escape routes for MRT in the city according to his fan Chief Inspector Benjamin Ariola, Chief of Operation of the Provincial
Police Office , cited how one of the MRT shot by a plain clothed cop in Columbia after he was seen toting a handgun on the head of a motorcycle rider so he could robbed the bike of the latter. He saw a similar incident in the traffic snarled Bangkok, Thailand.
Not to be out classed by the six-footer hunk police chief before the attentive PD Biay, I told my bravado about what I saw too at YouTube that could shame that Columbia and Bangkok’s feats.
“It was a staged act shooting incident in 7-11 (store) somewhere in Pasig where commuters patiently waited for their busses when an MRT stopped, back rider pulled his plastic .45 hand gun, aimed it at another staged actor, and started shooting him where he fell from the elevated concrete of 7-11 as if he was hit by bullets after one of their companion nearby started vigorously hammering with his dos-por-dos (2 inches by 2 inches lumber) a G.I Sheet that sounds like cracks of exploding bullets.
“Son of a gun, those unwitting commuters scampered away like crazy while others frantically ducked to the ground to dodge the imagine hail of bullets from the cracks of a fake pistol”.
Here’s the other suggestions how to deter MRT killers who unexpectedly lurked their ugly heads and started killing people in public places:
In Columbia, men are prohibited from riding as passengers on motorcycles between 8 a.m. and 12 midnight, a measure that the government says has cut targeted killings by motorcycle riders. According to the mayor of Medellin,motorcycle assassinations decreased by 39 percent in 13 months after the current ban was implemented in November 2012. Robberies of cars and of motorcycles by motorcycle riders each fell by nearly 30 percent. As reported by newspaper El Colombiano, The Medellin Mayor's Office there is set to extend the restriction until January 2015.
My comment however: The problem here is some libertarian Filipinos would question its unconstitutionality of the Right to Travel. I recalled then a proposal from Board Member Alfonso Bince five or six years ago to ban motor bikes in dusk up to wee hours to mitigate killings by MRT but he was questioned by groups of motorcycles buffs who threatened him with a Petition for Declaratory Relief with Injunction andTemporary Restraining Order incase the Provincial Board push through with the bill.
As a proposal of former Senator Richard Gordon, aside from oversized license plate numbers at the front and back of motorcycles, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) can also mandate the printing of the license numbers, also in big and very visible fonts, in the helmets used by all motorcyclists, again to help in their easy identification.
He added that there should be also a color-coding of the helmets to correspond either to the general location (e.g., Makati, Manila, or Pasig) of the residence of the motorcycle user or the location of the LTO office where he registered the vehicle.
The LTO can task motorcycle users with the responsibility to immediately report to the authorities the theft of their vehicles because in most cases stolen motorcycles had been used to commit crimes
(You can read my selected columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too firstname.lastname@example.org)