Saturday, July 03, 2010

Businessmen surrender car sirens, blinkers

MANILA, Philippines - Heeding President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III's call, some 20 businessmen on Saturday brought their high-end cars to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and surrendered blinkers and "wang-wangs" (sirens).

The LTO compound was turned into a car showroom as the businessmen parked their vehicles. Two vehicles spotted include a Porsche Cayenne and a Range Rover Discovery.

Businessman Nick Tan told ABS-CBN News that he decided to voluntarily surrender his blinkers and car siren as a show of support to President Aquino's "no wang-wang policy."

Tan said it would be shameful for him not to surrender the accessories while President Aquino allows himself to get stuck in traffic as he refuses to use his presidential convoy's sirens.

"Pumunta kami rito para suportahan ang sinabi ng bago nating presidente na walang wang-wang, blinker, walang abusado," he said.

President Aquino is fulfilling his promise during his inaugural address on Wednesday that the road bullying days of the blinkers and sirens owners are over.

After confiscating the car blinkers and sirens, LTO officers destroyed the blinkers.

LTO chief, Transportation Assistant Secretary Alberto Suansing, meanwhile, warned other private car owners against using their blinkers and car sirens.

Suansing said that according to the Presidential Decree 96, only motor vehicles designated for the use of the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Bureau of Investigation, Land Transportation Office, Bureau of Fire Protection, and hospital ambulances can be fitted with sirens, bells, horns or similar gadgets.

He also clarified that the only public official allowed by law to use blinkers and sirens is the President.

"That is understandable. Ang opisyal lang kasi ng gobyerno noon ay si Presidente Marcos. Presidente lang ng Pilipinas," he said.

Former president Ferdinand Marcos issued the presidential decree in January 1973.

Banawe losing 'wang-wang customers

Majority of the car blinkers and sirens seen in Metro Manila come from car accessory stores along Banawe Avenue in Quezon City.

Gai Bikade, who tends one such store on Banawe, said that they usually sell 3 to 5 blinkers and 4 to 6 "wang-wangs" a day.

Bikade said they have not sold a single car siren and blinker since President Aquino declared his "no wang-wang policy."

Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies including the LTO, Highway Patrol Group (HPG) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority deployed more personnel around Metro Manila streets on Saturday.

The HPG said a total of 10 people have been arrested for using blinkers and sirens since Friday.

In the EDSA-Muñoz area, police stopped a Hyundai Tucson and confiscated its siren.

Police said the owner of the vehicle is a Philippine Navy officer named Lt. Commander Miranda Villamor.

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