PNP taps Grab drivers in war vs riding-in-tandem shooters

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa urged Grab drivers on Monday, March 19 to hop on to their war against riding-in-tandem shooters.

The call was made during the oath taking ceremony of 500 Grab drivers as road safety marshalls to help with the PNP Highway Patrol Group (HPG).

“Bantayan ninyo ‘yan (riding-in-tandem shooters)...1,000 eyes and ears, makalusot pa kaya ang riding-in-tandem diyan?”

(Look out for them. With 1,000 eyes and ears, would there still be riding-in-tandem incidents?)

Why urge them? The PNP has an ongoing war against motorcycle-riding shooters after they noted a rise in homicides and murders during the first two years under President Rodrigo Duterte.

 

The push for the campaign was intensified in September 2017 after police were taken out from the administration’s war on drugs.

It is unclear how the PNP has followed through with the project ever since their return to the anti-narcotics campaign. 

How can they help? As road safety marshalls, the 500 Grab drivers are expected to report any irregularity they see while plying Metro Manila roads.

These irregularities include road obstructions and unruly drivers along major roads, and shootings committed by motorcycle-riding suspects in narrow streets.

The Grab drivers just simply text a special hotline set up by the PNP HPG, and cops will respond.

Abuse of power possible: According to PNP HPG director Chief Superintendent Arnel Escobal, Grab drivers cannot use the title of road safety marshall to defend themselves from apprehension.

He added text reports by Grab drivers will be validated by HPG cops before they pursue an apprehension. Asked how they will check reports, Escobal just said cops are already trained to decide for themselves. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

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