Tolentino: We've no control over stickers escorts put on vehicles

Tolentino: We have no control over stickers escorts put on vehicles

/ 05:33 PM May 30, 2024

Tolentino: We have no control over stickers escorts put on vehicles

FILE PHOTO: Sen. Francis Tolentino —SENATE PRIB

MANILA, Philippines — Senate Majority Floor Leader Francis Tolentino, who used to head the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), said his office does not have control over what markings their escorts put on their vehicles.

Tolentino’s explanation came after the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) arrested two MMDA personnel over their unauthorized use of the police insignia as shown on stickers attached to their motorcycles’ windscreen and saddle box. The HPG, however, said the two MMDA staff were allowed to provide security to the senator.


“The apprehended motorcycles are property of the MMDA. This is an internal MMDA matter. My office does not have any control as to what markings they attach on their vehicles, or even their helmets or belts,” the former MMDA chairman said in a statement.


READ: HPG nabs Tolentino’s 2 MMDA escorts for using sticker with PNP insignia

“No violation of existing laws relative to insignias was committed as the stickers were not attached to their uniforms. I want to assure the public that I supported the authorities involved in the investigation conducted,” Tolentino added.

According to the senator, the two MMDA personnel caught using commercially available stickers bearing the symbols of the Philippine National Police (PNP) should be further investigated. He said there is a need to determine the source of their decals.

“My concern right now is the physical and mental safety of the MMDA personnel as they were detained by the HPG and they have been provided with legal assistance. And I was just informed that said MMDA personnel were already released from detention for lack of sufficient evidence, by the Department of Justice. According to the PNP-HPG director, the motorcycle riders were duly authorized,” he also said.

Tolentino likewise noted that he personally asked the MMDA to immediately remove “all stickers whether decorative or even intentional decals” as well as “ensure compliance with all relevant regulations.” earlier sought Tolentino’s confirmation whether or not he personally know Padilla and Pacle, but he did not give a categorical answer.


READ: HPG-7 seizes 530 sirens, blinkers, banned accessories

Operatives arrested Padilla and Pacle on May 29 along along J.W. Diokno Avenue corner Aseana Avenue after noticing they were using sirens, which violates Presidential Decree 96 and Joint Administrative Order (JAO) 2014-01 (motorcycle vehicle operating with unauthorized accessories, and devices such as blinkers and siren), the HPG said in a report.

The two MMDA personnel were then asked regarding police markings on their motorcycles, but they “refused to divulge any information,” according to the HPG.

HPG Director Col. Neil Francia said the motorcycles of the two MMDA staff were caught “publicly and improperly using the insignia ‘POLICE’ and ‘Master Rider’s Badge’.”

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He also said the two escorts were assigned to the MMDA’s traffic aide unit and allowed to provide security to Senator Tolentino.

TAGS: Francis Tolentino, HPG, MMDA

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