Press Release
May 12, 2015

Sen. Grace Poe Opening Statement
Senate Committee on Public Order hearing on carnapping

Good afternoon to all.

This Public Hearing of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs joint with the Committees on Public Services, Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes and Finance, is called to order.

I would like to acknowledge our senators present here today, Sen. Tito Sotto, who's actually very knowledgeable, perhaps even more than me, when it comes to public order and dangerous drugs so we're very lucky to have him here today and also to be able to listen to your views with regard to the issues. And we would also like to acknowledge the presence of Sen. Lito Lapid who is also here to lend support and to listen to your views. So both of the tough guys of the Senate are here with us, so we consider ourselves fortunate today.

The automotive industry, according to the Philippine Automotive Competitiveness Council, Inc. (PACCI), is deemed as a pillar of economic growth which is vital to the economic development of any country. PACCI recognizes the Philippine automotive manufacturing industry as one of the 8 sectors that has huge potential for success in the world market.

In 2014, the Asean Automotive Federation (AAF) reported that Philippine sales of motor vehicles grew 29% to 234,700 plus units from 181,738 just in 2013, making it the region's third-best performer next to Vietnam and Singapore.[1] The said statistics is a manifestation that consumer-spending plays a big role in the country's economic growth.

As we can see, the business end of the motor vehicle industry is booming and is of substantial help to our economy.

Sa parte ng consumers --- bawat isa sa mga bumibili ng sasakyan ay may kanya-kanyang dahilan. Marahil ang isang kababayan natin ay bibili ng sasakyan upang mapaginhawa ang paglalakbay patungo sa trabaho at ang iba naman ay gagamitin ito sa negosyo. Maaari ring ang isang young professional ay bibili ng sasakyan sapagkat bago lang ang kanyang trabaho at ito'y kanyang pagkakataon na magkaroon ng sariling transportasyon.

Marami at iba-iba man ang dahilan ng pagbili ng sasakyan, iisa pa rin po ang puhunan - ito ay ang pagsisikap at pagtiyatiyaga upang makalikom ng pambili ng sasakyan.

The motor vehicle industry is helping both the economy and the general public in our kababayan's achievement of their aspirations, dreams, desire and comfort, convenience and even furtherance of business plans. Sa madaling salita, ang maunlad na motor vehicle industry ay nakabubuti para sa mga indibidwal na Pilipino at sa Pilipinas.


Ngayon, dumako tayo sa carnapping at illegal towing na bumibiktima sa ating mga kababayan. Kung anumang ganda ng relasyon ng motor vehicle industry at ng mga mamimili ng sasakyan ay sinisira naman ito ng carnapping at illegal towing. According to a report of the Philippine National Police (PNP), from January to June 2014, 3,170 cases of carnapping were reported, and up already 68.5% from the 1,881 cases reported in the same period of 2013. In the first half of 2014, an average of 2 cars and 15 motorcycles were stolen on a daily basis in the Philippines.

Sa isang report, kasabay ng pag-unlad ng motor vehicle industry ay ang pagdami rin ng masasamang gawain ng mga kriminal. Financiers, place an order for specific vehicles to carnapping gangs on the ground. The chosen vehicles are then stolen and transported to "rebirthing" facilities. The stolen vehicles are then tampered with to make them appear as new and different vehicles. The "rebirthed" vehicles will also be given falsified registration documents from the Land Transportation Office before being sold.

Reports in the media indicate that gangs and individuals of various modus operandi have also been sporadically preying upon owners of private vehicles. Here are some examples:

- Bundol Gang - This gang either hits or deliberately is hit by another vehicle. Once the driver gets off, his car is then hijacked.

- Bukas Kotse Gang - This gang targets parked cars or cars which are stuck in traffic. Once such a car is located, they forcibly open the car and either hijack it or steal valuables inside it.

- Basag Kotse Gang - This gang also targets parked cars or cars which are stuck in traffic. They then break one of the windows and steal valuables.

- Basag Itlog/Basag Kamatis Gang - This gang throws an egg or a tomato on a moving car's windshield. If the driver stops, he is forced out and his car is hijacked.

Not only are the private properties of our countrymen at peril due to carnapping and illegal towing, more importantly, the safety and security of our countrymen are also endangered. Sometimes, lives are lost due to carnapping and illegal towing with violence and intimidation. And it takes so long to be able to prosecute or even to catch the culprits behind it and that is the greatest tragedy.

One of the goals of our hearing today is to address the apparent inability of our penal laws in successfully deterring the occurrence of carnapping. Although amended, the present law of the Philippines addressing carnapping is circa 1972. At that time, cases of stolen vehicles ranged from 400-420 cases annually. Times have indeed changed dramatically. It should be noted that substantial change in the economic landscape has happened, with more motor vehicles on the road, the presence of more bold criminal syndicates and the evolution of motor-transport system has happened.

So today we are asking the authorities and the agencies and offices that are tasked with protecting our vehicle owners as well as our drivers and passengers. But we are also here with our resource persons who are themselves victims of carnapping because it is from them that we will be able to realize the flaws in our system that needs to be addressed from perhaps not just the enforcement but also the judicial system that needs to be addressed in order to prosecute faster those that are caught violating our laws.

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