Enforcement of law vs motorcycle crimes pushed after NCMH chief’s slay
MANILA, Philippines — The murder of the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) chief should push the government to strictly implement the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act of 2019, Senator Richard Gordon insisted on Monday.
Gordon said that the death of NCMH chief Dr. Roland Cortez and his driver earlier — perpetrated by riding-in-tandem assassins — is another incident in the string of heinous crimes done using motorcycles.
“I strongly condemn the killing by riding-in-tandem assassins of National Center for Mental Health chief Dr. Roland Cortez, who was also former medical director of the East Avenue Medical Center, and his driver Ernesto Dela Cruz,” the Senator said in a statement.
“These heinous activities have been going on for so long and only a small number of these killings have so far been solved. It is high time that we shed our apathy and put a stop to these killings with impunity by criminals using motorcycles as easy get-away vehicles. Hence, I reiterate my call for the implementation of Republic Act 11235 or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act of 2019,” he added
Cortez and his driver were shot dead inside their vehicle by riding-in-tandem assailants on Monday in Tandang Sora, Quezon City, hours before President Rodrigo Duterte was set to deliver his State of the Nation Address at the nearby Batasan Complex.
Cortez recently drew headlines when he asked former NCMH chief administrator Clarita Avila to stop making statements on behalf of the institution, after the latter revealed last April that some patients in the health facility have tested positive for the coronavirus.
After the issue, Avila was transferred to the Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Las Piñas by DOH. Eventually, NCMH admitted last April 27 that 88 of its staffers and patients have contracted COVID-19, forcing it to limit admissions of mental patients.
Despite these issues, Gordon said that it is counterproductive to lose doctors nowadays, especially as the country is still grappling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These criminals should no longer be allowed to escape easily from their accountability,” Gordon said.
“We are engaged in a war against the COVID-19 pandemic and killing doctors and other frontliners would weaken our army against the contagion. Thus, I also call on the authorities to immediately solve this killing,” he added.
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