Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Laoag City dad shoots down ‘no helmet’ proposal

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff reporter

Laoag City—Laoag councilor Joseph H. Tamayo shot down a proposal to allow motorcycle riders not wear helmet when they are in the city’s poblacion area.

Laoag City police chief P/Supt. Jeffrey T. Gorospe earlier made the proposal to do away with the wearing of helmet in the poblacion area to prevent concealment of identities of motorcycle-riding criminals.

Mr. Gorospe said assassinations or shooting of civilians are usually carried out by riding-in-tandem criminals who take advantage of the helmet law to conceal their identities.

The newly installed police chief cited an example where a traffic aide was accidentally dragged by a motorcycle whose rider was not identified because of the helmet as well as a hit and run victim who was hit by a motorcycle with no vehicle plate.

He added that the wearing of helmet for motorcycle riders is a national law but he singled out Batac City where the wearing of helmet in their poblacion area is prohibited to prevent crimes done by motorcycle riding elements.

He also stressed that Laoag’s CCTV surveillance system would become more successful in identifying possible suspects.

However, he also clarified that his proposal should still be studied and approved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

ComPAC revitalized
Meanwhile, Mr. Tamayo delivered a privilege speech that disagreed with the police chief’s proposal.

Mr. Tamayo emphasized that the proposal contradicts a national law on wearing helmets for motorcycle riders and that his recently approved ordinance institutionalizing the rules, procedures and guidelines of Community Police Assistance Centers (ComPACs) should help the police in maintaining peace and order in the city.

The new ComPAC ordinance aims to provide quick response to calls for assistance in barangays within a ComPAC’s jurisdiction.

Mr. Tamayo added that the measure also provides clear rules, procedures and guidelines for all the eighth ComPACs in the city. He added that it also calls on each ComPAC to put up unannounced checkpoints from 6 pm to 6 am.

Mr. Tamayo explained further that the ordinance also includes the participation of barangay tanods and barangay peacekeeping action team (BPATs) as peacekeepers in their respective barangays.

The councilor stressed that the reactivation and revitalization of the ComPACs could prevent all crimes not only those of riding-in-tandem thugs.

Mr. Tamayo also disclosed that most deaths from motorcycle accidents are caused by riders not wearing the prescribed helmets.

However, he also admitted that his stand is his own and he does not speak for his fellow councilors.

Lack of personnel
Reacting to Mr. Tamayo’s speech, Mr. Gorospe said he commends the recent approval of the ComPAC ordinance saying regular checkpoints is one of their routine functions.

He also said that the biggest problem for the Laoag police right now is the lack of personnel in terms of population to a police officer ratio.

Mr. Gorospe explained that each police officer serve 12 hours a day and they only have 80 personnel including those in the operation and investigation sections.

He also stated that the police is trying its best with what they have and that all police personnel in the ComPACs have also reached out to barangay officials to assist them.

He added that the new ComPAC ordinance would be effective as long as the police has sufficient personnel to man all the centers.


He however disclosed that they do not have enough officers at present.

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