After ambush, police eye EDSA ban on men riding in tandem

MANILA, Philippines – Following the EDSA ambush that left two dead and one injured, Mandaluyong City police are planning to recommend a ban on men riding one motorcycle together along the major thoroughfare.

"Isa sa mga recommendation naming possible action to preempt [incidents like] this one...we will recommend na 'yung riding-in-tandem na ordinance sa Mandaluyong may be replicated by other cities, at the same time applicable sa EDSA," Mandaluyong top cop Senior Superintendent Moises Villaceran told Rappler in a phone interview on Monday, February 18.

(One of the possible actions we will recommend to preempt incidents like this one...we will recommend that the riding-in-tandem ordinance in Mandaluyong be replicated in other cities, and at the same time along EDSA.)

Villaceran was referring to Mandaluyong City Ordinance Nos. 550 and 595, which both ban male back riders in motorcycles unless they are "within the first degree of consanguinity" of the driver.

"The MMDA (Metropolitan Manila Development Authority) should push to implement this," Villaceran added.

On Sunday, February 17, businessman Jose Luis Yulo and his driver Allan Santos were killed in an ambush along EDSA by male motorcycle-riding suspects. The attack came a year after lawyer Arjel Cabatbat was also ambushed by riding-in-tandem killers along the main road extending to Quezon City.

The two suspects were able to get away with riding together as Mandaluyong cops could not enforce the city's ordinance along EDSA, which is managed by the MMDA.

The rules that the MMDA enforces, meanwhile, are drafted and approved by the Metro Manila Council, which consists of all Metro Manila mayors and the MMDA chief.

Aside from the ban on male back riders, Villaceran is also thinking of recommending a ban on helmets covering the faces of motorcycle riders so if ever they commit a crime, they could easily be recognized from CCTV clips.

Led by a special investigation task group, police are now gathering footage taken on the day of the attack. –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.