10,000 motorcycle riders stage EDSA protest vs bigger plates

Rambo Talabong
10,000 motorcycle riders stage EDSA protest vs bigger plates

Maria Tan

'We are not criminals,' say protesters, as they hold a 'Unity Ride' against the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act

MANILA, Philippines – Thousands of motorcycle riders staged a motorcade along Metro Manila’s main highway on Sunday, March 24, to protest against the bigger license plates required by a new law.

The riders gathered at the People Power Monument along EDSA in Quezon City as early as 5 am, bringing with them protest banners that said “Justice for riders” and “We are not criminals.” 

According to the Quezon City Police District, about 10,000 riders joined the protest on Sunday.

PROTEST. Protesting motorcycle riders on March 24, 2019, say they should not be considered criminals. Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

Signed by the President on March 8, the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act orders the Land Transportation Office to produce motorcycle plates that are “readable from the front, back, and the side…from the distance of at least 15 meters.”

The color of the plate also changes depending on which region the motorcycle was registered in, and each motorbike needs to attach a plate both in front and at the back.

The law was approved in the face of hit-and-run assassinations, as well as other crimes, associated with criminals on motorbikes. 

POLICE ESTIMATE. Up to 10,000 motorcycle riders joined the 'Unity Ride' on March 24, 2019, according to the Philippine National Police. Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

On Sunday, the riders held a short program before hitting the road together, forming a thousands-strong motorcade dubbed as the “Unity Ride,” which passed by EDSA and the Macapagal and Diokno Boulevards. Three lanes along EDSA were reserved for the motorcade.

Their ride concluded at the gates of the Senate building in Pasay, where they continued to wave their protest banners and conducted a noise barrage with their motors’ horns. – Rappler.com

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.