‘Wangwang’ cop found driving without licenseBy Nancy C. Carvajal
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Senior Police Officer 2 Ricardo Pascua has been found to be driving without a license, keeping an illegally installed siren (wangwang) in a private vehicle and improperly using a plate number.
These were among his violations based on the Land Transportation Traffic (LTO) Code, said Superintendent Ferdinand Villanueva, chief of the QCPD District Investigation and Detective Management Division (DIDMD).
Pascua faces charges of grave misconduct that could lead to a six-month suspension, demotion or, worse, dismissal from the service, Villanueva said.
Pascua was relieved of his post as a result of the incident.
A party-list lawmaker, however, has taken the side of Pascua.
“I’ve read reports that Chief Superintendent Dela Vega received a call from the Presidential Security Group after the incident. If that is true, and if the relief of officer Pascua was the product of backdoor networking and through the use of influence, then that is illegal,” Representative Sherwin Tugna of the Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption said in a statement.
Tugna said the public should give Pascua due process since he was insistent that he did not know it was the President’s convoy because there was no siren. The President has banned the use of sirens since his first day in office.
Tugna said that instead of punishing Pascua, Malacañang should consider reviewing the siren policy.
Villanueva said the results of the investigation would be submitted to the QCPD director, Chief Superintendent Mario dela Vega, who will determine if there is a need for summary hearings.
“If there will be a summary hearing, we have 60 days to resolve it,” the DIDMD chief said.
Pascua was accosted by the Presidential Security Group on Tuesday morning for not yielding to Mr. Aquino’s convoy on Commonwealth Avenue. He was taken to the Batasan Hills police station after he claimed that he was a policeman.
An unidentified motorcycle escort fell off his vehicle when he lost his balance trying to stop Pascua, who was driving a red Mitsubishi Adventure (ZJK 679) in civilian clothes.
Under the LTO, Code it is standard procedure to give way to certain special vehicles such as fire trucks, police cars and ambulances, Villanueva said.
“The convoy had the right of way. Pascua should have given way [to Mr. Aquino’s convoy],” he said.
He said that upon the approach of any of these vehicles, the driver of every other vehicle should immediately drive to a position as near as possible and parallel to the right-hand edge or curb of the highway.
“The vehicles should stop and remain in such a position, unless otherwise directed by a peace officer, or until such vehicle shall have passed,” the DIDMD chief said.
Villanueva said Pascua also violated another provision of the code about the display of license plate numbers.
“Every motor vehicle, at all times, should display in conspicuous places, one in front and one in the rear its plate number,” he said.
The LTO Code also requires that plates be kept clean and be firmly attached to the motor vehicle in such a manner as to make them “entirely visible and always legible,” Villanueva said.
A report obtained by the Philippine Daily Inquirer said Pascua’s vehicle was sporting a QCPD plate with its rear plate number covered with tinted plastic.
Villanueva said Pascua’s case was aggravated by driving without a license.
“He failed to show his driver’s license at the time he was accosted and brought to Camp Karingal,” the police official noted.
Villanueva also disclosed that Pascua was not the owner of the vehicle he was driving, which had a siren installed in the front.
“He admitted to me that the vehicle belongs to a friend,” the DIDMD chief said.
He added that Pascua also violated Presidential Decree No. 96 for the unlawful use of the siren.
The DIDMD has asked the LTO to provide it with records of the Mitsubishi Adventure.
“We will also invite the registered owner to shed light on why he had sirens installed on his vehicle,” Villanueva said.
Pascua is restricted to the camp, while an evaluation of the charges is being conducted. His vehicle has been impounded.
Superintendent Crisostomo Mendoza, Novaliches Police station commandeer, where Pascua was assigned, told the Inquirer that Pascua was recently transferred to Station 4. “During the one month that he was here, he was never absent,” Mendoza said.
“He reports for work every day and does the tasks assigned to him,” said the station commandeer when asked to describe Pascua as a police officer. With a report form Gil C. Cabacungan