MANILA, Philippines – Just days after the Philippine National Police (PNP) declared war against riding-in-tandem shooters, a provincial police office began inviting volunteers to go to the front lines.
The Cavite Provincial Police Office (PPO) launched on Monday, October 16, their Unified Motorcycle Riders Group (UMRG).
The program pools motorcyclists from all over Cavite to help cops hit the brakes on crimes committed by riding-in-tandem shooters.
Volunteers register themselves and their motorcycles with the police, then help cops as "force multipliers" in police operations.
Cavite is no stranger to such crimes. Just in August, Dasmariñas City implemented a no-helmet policy after a succession of shootings supposedly done by masked and helmeted assailants riding motorcycles.
Volunteers flood the stage for registration
It starts with registration.
Motorcycle drivers are asked to go to police stations with their bikes so they can be listed and registered by cops.
Cavite PPO spokesperson Superintendent Janet Arinabo said the motorcycles need to be registered with the Land Transportation Office first before riders can volunteer.
"Para rin mag-register sila sa amin para malaman namin kung sinong may motor sa Cavite," Arinabo told Rappler in a phone interview.
([The program] is also a way for us to know who owns a motor in Cavite.)
At the end of the registration, Arinabo said riders will receive identification cards (IDs), which will contain the details of the driver and the bike.
Through the database, Arinabo said, cops can easily identify whether a registered motorcyclist commits a crime, or at least a traffic violation.
If an unregistered driver commits any violations of the law, cops can easily cancel out registered drivers from their list of suspects.
After the paperwork, it's off to the road. Registered riders can help cops in many ways.
For the faint-hearted, riders can just help in intelligence-gathering, by letting cops know when a rider, whether registered or not, is suspicious.
For those brave enough, they can take part in police operations themselves.
They can be part of police patrol operations, where riders share the road with cops in going around neighborhoods to monitor street crime. They can also man designated checkpoints in their localities.
When on patrol or at the checkpoint, riders may get a call for a chase if a rogue rider commits a crime, such as robbery, or in the worst scenario, kill a neighborhood resident.
In such cases, Arinabo said, volunteer riders don't need to go on the dangerous trip, as cops will not provide them offensive and protective equipment.
Service and volunteerism
Cops vow to lead drivers to curb crime
Registered riders, however, will not receive special treatment on the road.
"Siyempre count pa rin sila kung may violation sila. Applicable pa rin sa kanila ang laws sa kanila. Hindi porke na-issuehan sila, sila dapat ang mas mag-observe ng laws," Arinabo said.
(Of course their violations will also be counted. Laws are still applicable to them. They can't get away with it just because they were issued IDs. They should follow the law even more.)
Arinabo stressed that the effort, as a police-community program, was started in the name of volunteerism and service.
"Dito ine-encourage namin service, volunteerism. Wala po 'tong perks, walang bayad. 'Yung tumulong lang ang gustong tumulong sa efforts ng Cavite PNP dahil hindi lang responsibility ng police kundi ng lahat ang public safety," Arinabo said.
(We are encouraging service and volunteerism. This has no perks, no payment. We are just inviting those who want to help the Cavite PNP, because public safety isn't just the responsibility of the police.)
According to Arinabo, the clamor for a safer community has already drawn over 1,000 motorcyclists to volunteer on the first day of the program.
"Kasi kapag peaceful, mas magiging prosperous, at mas safe ang families nila," she said. (If it is peaceful, the communities will become prosperous and will become safer for their families.) – Rappler.com