In March of 2019 President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act or RA 11235. Dubbed by motorcycle riders as the “Doble Plaka law”, it puts forth heavy penalties towards motorcycle riders, which may include prison time, for offenses related to the plate number, up to and including report of sale/lost/stolen motorcycle.
The law first came into prominence as Senate Bill 1397 authored by Senators Richard 'Dick' Gordon and Vicente 'Tito' Sotto III. When it was passed, it was seen by motorcycle riders as prejudicial. 2 separate cases were filed before the Quezon City and Manila Regional Trial Courts vs the Doble Plaka law in 2020. They cited that some of its provisions were unconstitutional and “creates a legal burden inconsistent with, or completely disregards the constitutionally protected rights of motorcycle owners and riders.”
Just recently, Motorcycle Rights Organization (MRO), is happy to update fellow riders that the case vs RA 11235 is doing well and the Court was able to hear the respondents’ side that some of the law’s provisions are simply wrong.
“During the hearing, our camp again stressed all the wrongs in that law that [Senator] Gordon made and is being pressed against us riders,” said MRO’s Jobert Bolanos in Filipino.
Petitioner Rod Cruz (right) and Atty. Rowell Ilagan (left) July 2020
According to MRO, there are four main reasons why the Doble Plaka law is unconstitutional. First, the law has set an unrealistic timeframe for a motorcycle owner or buyer to transfer the documents under his or her name.
Second, the law prescribes a ridiculous amount of penalty that is only biased against the motorcycle rider. Owners of vehicles other than a motorcycle, if they commit the same mistake, would only get a slap on the wrist.
Third, jail time for those who cannot pay the ridiculous penalty, and finally, the law puts prejudice against the motorcycle and its rider only.
“Sa madaling salita, wala nanaman nagawa ang OSG para ipagtanggol ang batas ni Gordon…” [In other words, the Office of the Solicitor General was unable to do anything to defend the law that Gordon made.]
The next hearing is scheduled for next month. MotoPinas.com will keep you riders up to date with the case vs Doble Plaka law.