The government is considering the acquisition of motorcycles for policemen to enhance their capability to fight criminality especially in the streets.

ARMN5 2 1024x683 - More and better motorcycles for policemen –Duterte
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (ARMAN BAYLON/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

In his televised address Wednesday, President Duterte bared government plans to buy motorbikes, train cops on how to ride the two-wheel vehicle, and deploy them in plainclothes to chase down suspects.

Duterte discussed the need to improve the mobile capacity of policemen after expressing concern about the increase in street crimes with the reopening of the economy during the pandemic.

“I really intend to go hard within the last two years of my term pati itong mga kriminal (especially against criminals). We have seen an upsurge of holdups, streets crimes again because of the liberality being offered by the opening of the economy and of course, people are now allowed to roam freely and to travel,” he said. 

“If we can train the Highway Patrol (group) and train about siguro in one class, 30. We have to increase the mobile capacity ng police at saka we can buy motorcycles, ‘yung mahaba, one that can negotiate any obstacle, the ordinary obstacles that you find in the streets,” he said.

Duterte, a motorcycle enthusiast, asked Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año to plan the motorcycle acquisition, suggesting that the 250cc motorbike would be a “good one.”

The Chief Executive also insisted that the policemen must undergo motorcycle riding training to effectively navigate the streets and run after motorcycle-riding suspects.

“It’s not just a matter of knowing how to ride a bike, bicycle, motorcycle. Dito sa motorsiklo, you have to, the one that keeps the, I’m sure everybody knows this, is really the body, the rear portion, puwet. Kailangan pag-aralan ‘yan (That must be studied),” he said.

He recognized that policemen are facing a “nightmare” in running after motorcycle-riding suspects who weave in and out of traffic to get away with their offense. He said he saw a video clip showing a person shooting another person and simply sped off aboard a motorbike.

“The most convenient way is really ‘yung motor. Kapag nakapatay sila, diresto sakay (Once they kill, they just ride a motorbike to get away),” he said.

“This is very hard to control. I understand the nightmare the police are facing, how to control the mobility of the criminal right after committing a crime. Kasi ang motor kasi magzi-zigzag lang ‘yan, in and out of traffic situations and they can really get away with it easily. Unlike a  motor vehicle, ma-ano ng traffic. Pati itong mga motor dumadaan pa ng sidewalk (A motorcycle can weave in and out of traffic situations and they can really get away with it easily. Unlike a motorcycle that gets stuck in traffic. Motorcycles can even pass along sidewalks),” he said.

Once the cops are trained in riding motorcycles, Duterte proposed the deployment of these cops in plainclothes.

“Pero hindi naka-uniporme (But they’re not in uniform). I know it is not advisable but the only way to counter the anonymity of a criminal is also to fight the thing on the ground. They should be..detectives again,” he said.

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