Press Release
December 17, 2021

Gordon alarmed over recent spate of 'riding-in-tandem' crime

Senator Richard J. Gordon today expressed serious concern over the recent spate of crimes involving motorcycle-bound perpetrators, colloquially known as the "riding in tandem."

Gordon, who chairs the Senate Justice and Human Rights Committee, condemned the latest shooting incidents involving high-profile victims.

"We cannot allow ourselves to just concede the enactment of what may be called symbolic laws, treated as mere advice; treated as mere hortatory urgings, rather than as imperative commands," he said in a privilege speech.

"The failure to implement results in lost lives, lost taxpayer money, and lost lives. It also engenders a lack of respect for the laws," he added.

Philippine National Police statistics reveal the staggering cost of the failure to uphold the rule of law. Unabated killings perpetrated by riding-in-tandem can be traced to 19,277 crimes committed by motorcycle riding criminals from the calendar year 2016 to January 2021; of those 19,277 crimes, 7,123 are murder.

A total of five people has reportedly been victimized by riding-in-tandem killers last week, including politicians, doctors, and journalists.

Mayor of Al-Barka, Basilan, Mayor Darussalam Lajid and his bodyguard Barad Nuruddin were shot to death while Akbar chief executive Alih Awal Sali escaped with injuries after being shot by four riding-in-tandem suspects in Zamboanga City.

In Cagayan de Oro City, famed surgeon and urologist Dr. Raul Andutan was assassinated in broad daylight last Dec. 2, allegedly in exchange for a PhP150,000 fee to be shared among the four suspects, according to a confession by one of them.

Veteran Pampanga-based newsman Jesus "Jesse" Malabanan was killed by riding-in-tandem suspects at close range while tending to their sari-sari store in Calbayog, Samar last Dec. 8.

Gordon, the author of Republic Act (RA) 11235, also known as the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, said the proper implementation of the law could have prevented crimes involving riding-in-tandem.

"RA 11235 was passed to protect the public from criminals using motorcycles. It was enacted to protect the innocent from motorcycle- laden criminals by allowing easier identification of specific vehicles used in many crimes, through the requirement of larger, legible, more identifiable license plates," he explained.

According to the law's Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), the plates were made slightly bigger, and sticker/decal plates be put in the front so that it may be readable 15 meters away.

According to news monitoring by the Office of Sen. Gordon, there have been 202 victims of the riding-in-tandem, with 172 dead, 28 injured, and 2 escaping unharmed this year alone.

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