Anti-crime measure: Cotabato City bans helmets for motorbike riders

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/09 August) – A few days after a bombing that killed eight people and wounded 30 others, Cotabato City has imposed a no-helmet policy for motorcycle riders in a bid to easily identify criminals who may use such vehicles.

The policy, which took effect Thursday afternoon, runs counter to a national law requiring motorcycle riders to wear helmets as a safety measure.

But Senior Supt. Rolen Balquin, city police director said the move aims to prevent criminality in the streets and easily identify suspects.

Cotabato City has installed several CCTV cameras in strategic corners and streets.

“By exposing the face we could easily determine the criminals especially those in our rogues gallery,” Balquin said.

Local officials came up with the move during the crisis committee meeting held after Monday’s car bomb explosion which City Mayor Japal Guiani Jr. said was meant for him and his sister, City Administrator Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi.

“At the moment we want to get the pulse of the people if this move will work, but of course we will have to consult this also with the Land Transportation Office,” the mayor clarified.

“The intention is meant for the security of the general public at this critical time”, he added.

Many killings and other crimes in the city were committed by men on motorcycles wearing helmets.

In Midsayap, North Cotabato where an explosive also went off on Wednesday morning the local government has imposed a curfew, 9 p.m.-5 a.m. for minors and 12 a.m.-5 a.m. for business establishments.

The curfew ordinance was passed on Wednesday afternoon or a few hours after the bombing.

No casualties were reported in the Midsayap bombing, which happened two days after the blast in Cotabato City and on the same day that blasts occurred in Shariff Saydona Mustapha and Datu Piang towns in Maguindanao.

There were also no casualties in Datu Piang, but seven soldiers were injured in Shariff Saydona Mustapha.

Earlier, on July 26, eight persons were killed and 46 others were injured when a bomb exploded in a bistro at the Rosario Arcade in Limketkai Center in Cagayan de Oro City. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)