Cotabato starts crackdown on deadly motorcycle racing

Ferdinandh Cabrera

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Cotabato starts crackdown on deadly motorcycle racing

ROADBLOCK. Authorities use old tires as they begin to set up a roadblock on a section of a highway ias a measure against motorcycle racing n Cotabato province.

courtesy of Alfred Ian Soriano Abellada II

Officials sound alarm bells after a motorcycle race participant died after he crashed into a tricycle, killing a passenger and hurting another

COTABATO, Philippines – Authorities in Cotabato province started a crackdown this week on illegal motorcycle racing in the province after an accident that killed two people and seriously hurt another on a highway in Libungan town on Sunday, February 25.

Shirlyn “Neneng” Macasarte, a member of the provincial government’s advisory council, police, and Land Transportation Office (LTO) officials met with Libungan Mayor Angel Rose Cuan and other town officials, and agreed to impose stricter measures and sanctions meant to stop the use of the highway for illegal motorcycle racing, referred to by locals as “waswas.”

Officials sounded alarm bells after a waswas participant crashed a 150cc Suzuki Raider motorcycle into a tricycle. The tricycle was heading to Midsayap town from Libungan around noon on Sunday.

MEET. Local officials and law enforcers meet to put in place measure against motorcycle racing in Libungan, Cotabato province. photo courtesy of Alfred Ian Soriano Abellada II

The accident killed the motorcycle driver, 17-year-old John Lloyd Malawian, and tricycle passenger Genevive Villela. The passenger’s companion, Florante Villela, is currently struggling for life in a hospital in Davao City.

“Every Saturday and Sunday, they race, not thinking about other people. It’s okay if they don’t get other people hurt, but that’s not the case here,” said Jihada Maisalat, a town resident.

The officials agreed to offer rewards for tipsters who report to the authorities any group that organizes and participates in motorcycle racing, which usually involves huge bets.

They also set up anti-waswas roadblocks from Barangay Ulamian to Barangay Batiocan, Libungan, monitoring modified motorcycles, stepping up the inspection of motorcycle registrations, and strictly enforcing speed limit rules.

Cuan said she has asked the town council to amend local ordinances that can be enforced against those participating in illegal motorcycle races and institutionalize the giving of incentives to tipsters.

“We are deeply alarmed by this rampant drag racing, and stiff sanctions should be imposed immediately to have this stopped,” said Macasarte. –

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