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By The Mouse Potato | August 5, 2008
you can check the original thread HERE
This new LTO law that has been circulating for a while is very discriminating for us people who use bikes as a regular form of transportation…
How stupid some law makers are. Making laws out of nothing then letting opportunist grab the money. WTF!
Kindly read and support the Filipino biking community
Good day Mr. Chiz Escudero and likewise to your staff as well!
My name is Jobert Bolanos, 32 years old and a resident of ************************************, Marikina City.
I would like to take this opportunity to say that I am a big supporter and follower of Senator Escudero. I have always believed in him and his capacity as a politician. I trust him more than anybody in the Philippine political scene. Hence the reason why I am writing to him about a very important and urgent matter surrounding us.
Anyway, I am writing this letter to inform you of a grave injustice that is hounding the motorcycle community of the Philippines. As a rider, I am greatly alarmed by the injustice and discrimination against all motorcycle users in the Philippines. Recently, a new law prohibiting motorcycle users to improve their motorcycles has been passed by the LTO under Administrative order: AHS-2008-15(MC) which is detailed below:
The paper you see has started to circulate sometime today. It is being distributed by LTO personnel around Manila. We have nothing against a, b, c and e as they promote safer motoring for us on our bikes. It is “d” that is a immensely gray area for us. I will talk about how it is in just a moment.
The order states that this is effective on August 4, 2008, however, the flagging down has started a few weeks back. It started with out any clear and proper information dissemination to the motorcycle community. MMDA traffic enforcers, Police and LTO personnel have started the apprehending of people on motorcycles based on all the rules stated on the order. What’s bothering us is the ruling on “d” is extremely vague and completely baseless. If your asking why, a significant number of bikers have been apprehended all over the metro for the following reasons:
1. Changing of the headlight assembly to an aftermarket design
2. Changing of the rear shock absorbers
3. Changing of the original rims to aluminum magwheels
4. Changing of the tires to wider and better compounds
5. Changing of the footpegs to aftermarket rearsets
6. Changing of the light bulbs to brighter brands
7. Changing of the front wheel fairings to an aftermarket design
8. Changing of the brake discs to a larger diameter for more accurate braking
And so on and so fourth. The said basis for the law according to some people from the LTO is said to promote safer traversing while riding. How does changing of the tires to a better rubber compound and brand become unsafe? How does making the road in front of us appear brighter become unsafe? How does improving the suspension of the motorcycle unsafe? And the list goes on and on.
As you can see, this has really left a huge gray area and has been subject to unscrupulous activities and questionable reasoning behind the order to flag us down for these “modifications”. What’s worse is that this has been subject into a means for unlawful MMDA traffic enforcers and “kotong” cops as a stepping stone for abuse.
A few bikers have already spoken about their experiences when they were apprehended because of the modifications on their bikes. And it has been seen that the people apprehending the riders are using this in order to scare the biker and put money (lagay) into their pockets.
If an LTO field operation takes place, riders caught are ticketed and asked to redeem their licenses at the main LTO office in East Avenue. Riders then go to the LTO office only to be surprised that the supposedly Php2,000 fine has increased to Php4,000 as described by one biker who attempted to redeem his license.
Our main concern here is that this is a new law. And new laws should not affect those who have already modified their bikes in the past. It is now the job of the LTO to ask and provide guidelines to each rider on what they can or cannot do to their bikes during registration. And if the vehicle fails inspection, then it doesn’t get registered. What they are doing is they suddenly impose a law and immediately put pines over our heads. Fines that are no joke to people who use their motorcycles as a means of cheaper transportation and even as their Livelihood.
Another concern is that the basis for making the modifications that are intended to improve/enhance our rides has been made into a reason to flag us and fine us. Isn’t it in our right to do what we want to our own property given that we do not cause harm to anybody besides and including ourselves? Now, they have taken away that right and they are putting us on a leash.
And what’s adding insult to injury is that they are doing this movement on motorcycles alone. Cars who are modified themselves are not being flagged down nor inspected on check points. So we can’t modify bikes but others can modify their cars, SUV’s, jeeps and trucks? This is discrimination. This is injustice. How in the world can they expect us to respect these new rules when we are being singled out just because we ride motorcycles?
They never gave this an opportunity to be clarified and put into discussion with motorcycle groups and experts. They just thought of it, laid it down the table and started the order. No information dissemination besides a few interviews on the radio and Television. We never even saw this on the newspaper. And there aren’t anything posted on MMDA’s or the LTO’s website about these violations and their corresponding fines.
Let me quote a post from the Motorcycle forums:
“this LTO guideline should not be applicable to those motorcycles that were already modified before the passage of this “guideline”. sorry, i haven’t read the entire guideline. just basing my reaction on the TS’s comments.
Generally, laws should have only prospective application unless they are favorable to the offender who is not a habitual delinquent. Now, does the prospective rule cover only penal laws enacted by Congress? Will it not apply to penal circulars (like the LTO’s guidelines)? the answer is YES.
There is this Supreme Court ruling that upholds the prospective rule will also apply to penal circulars.
In the case of Co vs. CA, October 28, 1993, it was ruled that this Circular cannot be applied retroactively because petitioners cannot be faulted for relying on the earlier official pronouncement of the Secretary of Justice that guarantee checks issued prior thereto are not covered by said Circular. That decision added that the principle of prospective of statutes, original or amendment has been applied to administrative rulings and circulars, and to judicial decisions which although in themselves are not laws, are evidence of what the laws mean, this being the reason why under Article 8 of the New Civil Code, judicial decisions applying the laws of the Constitution shall form part of the legal system.
The LTO is an administrative agency. It can exercise quasi-legislative powers by issuing circulars and memoranda with penalties. Thus, the above-mentioned case (Co vs. CA) will readily be our defense that such “Guidelines” of the LTO with the corresponding penalties shall not apply to those motorcycles that were already modified prior to its implementation.
If owners of motorcycles will modify theirs, after such effectivity/implementation, then they should be the ones who will be penalized. Good faith is not a defense when you say, i did not know of the law. i have never read of it. “Ignorance of the law excuses no one.”"
As much as I would like to write more in this letter, I believe that a meeting would be a better way to explain all this and provide you with more information. May it be with you or anybody in your department who is willing and open enough to hear us out. As far as we bikers are concerned, this is an act of unlawful harassment, injustice and discrimination against us motorcycle owners and riders.
And we strongly believe that there is more to it than meets the eye. And most especially, there is a wider effect that branches out not only to the motorcycle owners and users, but to the businesses and their people who make a living in providing us the parts that we use to replace, improve or enhance the parts and the overall performance of our bikes. Sad to say, to the LTO, MMDA and PNP, it’s plainly generalized as “modifications”.
I would like to shed more on the issue but, I think it would be better if you take a look at my blog first since I started it because of the so called order that the LTO has been using against us.
You can find my blog here: www.bikerpinoy.blogspot.com.
You can also find more discussions about the issue on the forums of www.motorcyclephilippines.com.
If you can find the time to speak with us or have somebody meet with us, you may contact me at ******* or 09152941987. And we will be glad to answer all your questions about this matter.
Thank you and more power to you senator and your staff!
Jobert Christian G. Bolanos