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Cot City traffic enforcers capacitated on road safety, anti-carnapping campaign

COTABATO CITY—While road crashes and motor vehicle-related incidents remain to be perennial problems in the country, the Ministry of Transportation and Communication (MOTC) strengthened its road safety and anti-carnapping campaign to traffic enforcers in the region’s capital, Cotabato City.

On Tuesday, August 9, the Ministry organized the seminar which was attended by almost 100 participants from Bangsamoro Land Transportation Office (BLTO), Bangsamoro Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (BLTRFB), Highway Patrol Group (HPG) and Local Government Unit Law Enforcers from this city.

According to MOTC Minister Dickson Hermoso, road accidents and carnapping in the county were serious. Hence, he urged the law enforcers to help the Ministry in reducing these cases in the Bangsamoro region.

“The latest available data show that a total of 345 Filipinos died by day due to car crash accidents, and an average of 545 persons per day are involved in accidents with a fatality rate of 1.9 percent,” said Hermoso.

He emphasized that this problem should be addressed through active cooperation and collaboration “because every life matters”.

MOTC Deputy Minister Abunawas Maslamama reminded the participants follow the law as the government imposed certain rules, laws, and regulations that are essential to save lives on the road and reduce road accidents and crimes.

“When we are on the road, our safety is not only a concern of one person but a concern of everyone who are using the road daily […] let us follow, strictly, what the law utters,” Maslamama said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief of Highway Patrol Unit – Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BAR) Police Major Melvin Hernandez discussed the “Do’s and Don’ts before driving as major safety tips to prevent road accidents” and the Anti-Carnapping Law of 2016.

To be safe and to avoid road accidents, he said, “do always wear your seatbelt; follow the speed limits, traffic lights and/or enforcers; give pedestrians the right way in crosswalks; and make room for bicycles.”

For the things to avoid, Hernandez added, “don’t continue driving when you are sleepy or drunk; don’t assume that other cars know what you are doing; don’t run stoplights or stop signs; don’t play your car stereo so loudly, and avoid using cell phone when driving at the same time.”

On the other hand, Republic Act 10883 of 2016 or The New Anti-Carnapping Act states that the length of imprisonment imposed on a person found guilty of carnapping has been increased from 20 to 30 years of a jail sentence, as compared to the jail term of 14 years and eight months to 17 years and four months under the old law.

“When the crime is committed with violence, intimidation, or use of force, the imprisonment sentence is from 30 years and one day to 40 years. If the owner, driver, or occupant of the carnapped motor vehicle was killed or raped, the person found guilty would be sentenced to life imprisonment,” Hernandez underscored.

Accordingly, any person involved in the concealment of the crime of carnapping would be imprisoned from six to 12 years and shall be fined with the acquisition cost of the motor vehicle, engine, or any other part involved in the violation.

Under RA 10883, carnapping is non-bailable if the evidence of guilt is strong. Public officials involved in carnapping may also be dismissed from service and ordered perpetually disqualified from public office. (Kasan Usop Jr./BIO)

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