PNP, LTO launch campaign vs traffic violators in Region 12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 26 Nov) – Police authorities in Region 12 launched on Monday a massive crackdown against violators of the “no plate, no helmet, no travel policy” and other traffic regulations in the entire region.

Chief Supt. Alex Paul Monteagudo, Region 12 police director, said they have tied up with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) for the region-wide campaign, which is part of the renewed implementation of the Police Regional Office’s 12’s operation plan or “Oplan Sikpaw.”

Region 12, which is also known as the Soccsksargen Region, comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

He said the campaign mainly involves mandatory inspections on motorists’ compliance with the “no plate, no helmet, no travel policy” and basic traffic regulations and the immediate apprehensions of the violators.

The official said he has directed all checkpoints situated in entry and exit points of the region’s key municipalities and cities to conduct daily inspections and apprehensions.

“Our personnel will specifically check whether our motorists were using protective helmets, have valid driver’s licenses as well as updated and valid license plates and vehicle registrations. It will cover all applicable traffic regulations,” Monteagudo said.

He said they will check whether motorists carry firearms, prohibited weapons, illegal drugs and other related items.

Monteagudo said the region-wide crackdown is taking off from the intensified operations against traffic-related violations launched by the General Santos City Police Office late last month.

The city police office has so far impounded hundreds of motorcycles at its headquarters in Camp Fermin Lira due to various violations.

Senior Supt. Froilan Quidilla, acting city police director, had given the city’s eight police stations a daily quota of five apprehensions of traffic violators.

The city police’s public safety company and the city traffic section were mandated to apprehend 15 and 25 violators, respectively, on a daily basis.

Quidilla said he ordered the immediate issuance of traffic offense tickets to prevent “negotiations” between violators and the apprehending police officers.

He said they only release the seized vehicles after their owners have properly complied with the necessary traffic regulations and settled their penalties.

Monteagudo said they launched the crackdown to counter the rising cases of traffic accidents involving motorcycles, motorcycle theft and their use in various criminal activities.

Early this year, the Police Regional Office 12 launched Oplan Sikpaw and established a database of motorcycles plying in various parts of the region.

Oplan Sikpaw, which is a Visayan term for scooping net, is mainly aimed at averting carnapping activities involving motorcycles and properly monitoring their use in crimes, especially by riding-in-tandem suspects. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)