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Sirens, blinkers not for use of politicians – HPG-7 

By: Emmariel Ares - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | February 14,2024 - 04:17 PM

Police Lieutenant Colonel Wilbert Padilla, chief of the Highway Patrol Group-Central Visayas (HPG-7) | Emmariel Ares

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Politicians are basically prohibited by law from using blinkers and sirens or “wang-wang” on their vehicles.

This was the clarification made by Police Lieutenant Colonel Wilbert Parilla, chief of the Highway Patrol Group-Central Visayas (HPG-7).

This was following the hit-and-run incident in Cebu City last February 4, 2024, which killed 23-year-old Jeslar Uriel Larumbe.

READ: Road rage led to hit-and-run of local basketball player – Police

In that incident, the gray sports-utility vehicle involved was seen with blinkers and sirens as it traversed the busy roads of Cebu City even before the fatal encounter. 

Due to this, speculations rose among the public that the suspect was a very important person (VIP), even insinuating that it was Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama. The accusation of course enraged the city’s chief executive.

It was, however, proven to be false after subsequent investigation that resulted to the filing of murder charges against the alleged suspect Aaron Karl Tan. 

Parilla clarified that the only vehicles authorized to use blinkers and sirens are police and military vehicles, ambulances, and fire trucks.

“They are not allowed (vehicles of politicians). Sa akong giingon, tulo ra gyud ang gi-allow nga maoy mogamit. But they are also allowed to have escorts,” stated Parilla.

He explained that most VIPs and politicians have convoys when traveling to official events. Among these convoys are vehicles of police personnel that make use of their blinkers and sirens during their duties.

Parilla stated that this prohibition is stipulated in the Presidential Decree No. 96 entitled “Declaring Unlawful the use of attachment of sirens, bells, horns, whistles, or similar gadgets that emit exceptionally loud or startling sounds, including dome lights and other signaling or flashing devices on motor vehicles and providing certain exceptions therefor.” 

READ: Road rage led to hit-and-run of local basketball player – Police

The decree states that “The gadgets or devices mentioned above may be attached to and use only on motor vehicles designated for official use by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Bureau of Investigation, Land Transportation Commission, Police Departments, Fire Departments, and hospital ambulances.”

Parilla further disclosed that violators of this law will be punished under the presidential decree.

For first offenders, the blinkers and sirens will be confiscated by authorities and they may be issued with a Temporary Operator’s Permit (TOP)  which imposes an administrative fine of P5,000.

For persons committing the offense for the second time, they will be facing criminal charges and revocation of their driver’s license. Once charged, offenders will be imprisoned for 6 months.

Meanwhile, Parilla said that the regulation does not cover persons who are selling these items to the public.

He added that some barangays also purchase blinkers and sirens for their ambulances to be used for medical emergencies.

READ: Rama: ‘Do not stop looking for person behind ‘hit-and-run’ incident’

According to Parilla, one of the key actors that aided in the investigation of Larumbe’s hit-and-run was the identification of the vehicle involved after it was found that it had blinkers and sirens. With the help of concerned citizens, the vehicle was found only days after the incident. 

Shortly after, police identified the alleged suspect, who was also tagged as a violator of the prohibition of the use of blinkers and sirens for unauthorized persons.

To prevent unauthorized persons from using blinkers and sirens while driving, Parilla urged the public to report to authorities any sightings of this illegal practice.

READ: Road rage: Deadly encounters that can be avoided

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TAGS: blinkers, hit and run, HPG-7, road rage, sirens

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