LTO: using “DU30” decorative plates is a “major violation”

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/14 May)—Supporters of presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte who are using decorative plates such as “DU30 El Presidente” instead of the authorized license plates, beware.

You are violating the law and will be fined P5,000, your license and the unauthorized plate confiscated if you continue doing so, Eleanor Calderon, operations chief of the regional Land Transportation Office (LTO) here said.

“That’s a major violation. Ayaw ni Mayor nyan” (Mayor won’t like that), Calderon told MindaNews. “Mayor” refers to Duterte, who will step down from his seventh term as Davao City mayor to assume the post of President by noon of June 30.

The Duterte campaign gave sidewalk entrepreneurs extra income by selling tee-shirts, stickers, or these decorative plates. The Land Transportation Office, however has warned against using this in lieu of the authorized license plates. This embossed decorative plate is a post-election design. MIndaNews photo by CAROLYN O. ARGUILLAS The Duterte campaign gave sidewalk entrepreneurs extra income by selling shirts, stickers, or these decorative plates. The Land Transportation Office, however has warned against using these in lieu of the authorized license plates. This embossed decorative plate is a post-election design. MindaNews photo by CAROLYN O. ARGUILLAS

She said those who are using these decorative plates will be fined P5,000 and their drivers’ license confiscated until payment of the fine, pursuant to Sec. 2E of the Joint Administrative Order 2014-01 of the Department of Transportation and Communication.

Section 2E penalizes “attachment of any unauthorized plate/s or any accessory or device to and/or around the authorized motor vehicle license plate, or any manner of attachment that impedes in any way the visibility or reflectivity of the authorized motor vehicle license plate and/or the third plate sticker.”

The unauthorized plate will also be removed and confiscated in favor of the government.

At least three violators have been penalized, she said.

Calderon said drivers of these vehicles are told “si Mayor mismo magagalit” (the mayor himself will be angry).

Duterte has repeatedly said in his campaign sorties that in the Philippines, “obedience to the law is optional,” a problem he promised to solve. In Davao City, which is his “Exhibit A,” traffic laws are strictly enforced.

No exemption

Duterte’s daughter Sara, vice mayor from 2007 to 2010, mayor from 2010 to 2013 and now incoming mayor, was flagged down for overspeeding on January 13, 2014. Her driver’s license was confiscated and she was issued a ticket for violating the 40-kilometer per hour speed limit.

BAYAN Muna Partylist Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate was  flagged down for overspeeding at 11:25 p.m. on December 8, 2015 and got a ticket, too, for overspeeding.

“While driving my car along McArthur Highway coming from downtown area where I bought some medicines that my elder sister requested me to buy, I was startled when a uniformed police officer suddenly waved at me to stop,” Zarate posted on his Facebook account.

“I was overspeeding in a 40kph speed zone. I immediately handed my license to SPO1 Mallonga, who readily left after issuing me my TOP (Temporary Operator’s Permit) to attend to two other speed limit violators, ” he added.

“Speed limits apply at all times, day and night in our city; no ifs, no buts,” he wrote.

Put them elsewhere

Calderon said those who have decorative plates can put them on their windshields, for example, but not on the plate box.

The decorative car plates cost from P180 to P250 in Davao City (plastic or embossed on GI sheet) while those for motorcycles cost 100 pesos. The designs vary: “DU30” or “DU30 El Presidente” or “DU30” with the face of Duterte, “DU30” with the face of Duterte and Philippine Eagle.

Using this decorative "DU30" plate is a "major violation" of the law, the Land Transportation Office operations head, Eleanor Calderon, said. "Magagalit nyan si Mayor" (Mayor Duterte will be angry), she said. MindaNews photo by Carolyn O. Arguillas Using this decorative “DU30” plate is a “major violation” of the law, the Land Transportation Office’s regional operations chief Eleanor Calderon, said. “Magagalit nyan si Mayor” (Mayor Duterte will be angry). MindaNews photo by CAROLYN O. ARGUILLAS 

The latest post-election designs are “DU30” with Duterte in a suit and the seal of the President of the Philippines behind him and the message “Abante Pilipinas” (Forward Philippines) and an embossed “DU30” with “President” underneath.

Several vehicles using these “DU30” plates have been plying the streets of Davao and other parts of Mindanao.

In Iligan City on Wednesday, in the midst of a rush-hour gridlock, a man driving a vehicle with “DU30” plate got off his vehicle to direct the traffic flow.

In Cagayan de Oro, a driver of a vehicle using a similar plate was seen parking improperly and was approached by the police.

“Baka mag-reflect yan kay Mayor Digong… sabihin ng tao: “Ayan na. Wala pa makalingkod gapang-abuso na ang mga grupo ni Digong” (This might reflect on Mayor Digong (Duterte’s other nickname). The people might say: There. He hasn’t assumed the post of President and his supporters are already abusing,” said Davao City radio commentator Manuel Cabrera.

The Digong Duterte Supporters (DDS) Facebook page said in reaction to the post on the decorative plates said  “ang tunay na pagbabago ay ang hindi paglabag sa batas. Ang suporta natin ay di lamang hanggang sa eleksyon. Kailangan maging halimbawa tayo sa ating mga kababayan” (real change means do not violate the law. Our support is not just until election. We should be examples to our countrymen). (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)