KIDAPAWAN CITY (MIndaNews/6 July) – One hundred thirty eight motorists were apprehended on Thursday in North Cotabato for various traffic violations in an operation dubbed “Oplan Bitag Sasakyan.”
Supt. Renante Cabico, city police director, said they conducted the traffic inspection along the Kidapawan-Matalam highway 58following the series of killings in nearby towns in North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat provinces perpetrated by gunmen riding tandem in motorcycles.
Of the violations, 59 drivers’ licenses were confiscated; 18 motorcycles and 13 registered plate cards were impounded; and 48 drivers who traveled without helmets and pertinent vehicle documents were issued temporary operators’ permits or citation tickets from the Land Transportation Office (LTO), data from the Kidapawan City police showed.
The latest incident that involved riding-in-tandem gunmen was the killing of the political affairs consultant of Maguindanao Governor Esmael ‘Toto’ Mangudadatu on June 30 in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.
Killed instantly was Said Salik while his daughter, Juhera, died while undergoing treatment at a hospital in nearby Esperanza town, also in Sultan Kudarat.
Reports said most of the suspects who were involved in the recent killings were on board motorcycles with unregistered identification plates.
The police also launched the “Oplan Bitag Sasakyan” to strictly enforce the “No Helmet, No Travel Policy” so as to prevent deaths and injuries during vehicular accidents.
Most of those who die or sustain injuries in road accidents usually don’t wear helmets or have been travelling under the influence of liquor, according to local police data.
Oplan Bitag Sasakyan, according to Cabico, was conducted jointly by operatives of the Cotabato Public Safety Company; police units from the towns of M’lang, Matalam, Kabacan, Tulunan, Magpet, Antipas, Arakan, President Roxas, and Makilala; elements of the City Tricycle Franchising and Regulatory Board; and deputized LTO agents. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)