Following the assassination last Saturday of Butuan City Regional Trial Court Judge Godofredo Abul Jr., and of former Business World editor Michael Marasigan and his brother Christopher last Thursday, Senator Richard J. Gordon reiterated the need to take a bite out of crime, especially the assassinations perpetrated by riding-in-tandems.

Condemning the assassination, Gordon called on the House of Representatives for the immediate passage of their version of Senate Bill No. 1397 or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act of 2017, pointing out that imposing bigger and more easily readable plate numbers on motorcycles would ensure that witnesses would be able to better read and CCTV cameras pick up plate number of motorcycles used in the commission of crimes.

"I condemn Judge Abul's assassination, which also left his wife critically injured. The judge's killing, along with the recent killing of Mike, only underscoreS the need to take a big bite out of riding-in-tandem assassinations. Bigger and more easily readable plate numbers would take a very big bite out of crimes committed by persons riding in tandem on motorcycles," the senator said.

"Over the past seven years, the PNP (Philippine National Police) have recorded more than 10,000 shooting incidents committed by persons riding in tandem on motorcycles. But this has been going on far longer. In fact, for more than two decades now, judges, prosecutors, lawyers, and journalists have fallen victims to riding-in-tandem assassins and most of their cases have remained unsolved to this day. It is high time that we do something to stop these killings!" he added.

A list from the Supreme Court showed that in the 16 years from 1999 to 2015, 22 judges have died due to gunshot wounds: Hon. Celso F. Lorenzo, Sr.; Hon. Geminiano A. Eduardo; Hon. Ariston L. Rubio; Hon. Eugenio R. Valles; Hon. Oscar Gaby M. Uson; Hon. Pinera A. Biden; Hon. Paterno G. Tiamson; Hon. Voltaire Rosales; Hon. Milnar T. Lamnawin; Hon. Henrick F. Gingoyon; Hon. Sahara U. Silongan; Hon. Nathaniel C. Pattugalan; Hon. Orlando C. Velasco; Hon. Roberto A. Navidad; Hon. Edimer DC. Gumbahali; Hon. Andres Q. Cipriano; Hon. Reynaldo A. Lacasandile; Hon. Henry D. Arles; Hon. Reynerio G. Estacio; Hon. Jude Erwin U. Alaba; Hon. Wilfredo T. Nieves; and Hon. Reynaldo M. Espinar.

Source: Senate of the Philippines

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