Senator Pia S. Cayetano on Sunday called on the Aquino administration and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to look into alarming cases of robberies and ‘bike-jacking’ that victimize bikers following reports of such incidents taking place in southern Metro Manila in recent weeks.
Cayetano said greater police visibility will help discourage so-called ‘bike-jackers’ preying on defenseless cyclists who train early in the morning, particularly on weekends, in road routes and off-road trails frequented by bikers traversing Las Pinas, Paranaque and Muntinlupa, and in neighboring areas in Cavite, Laguna and Batangas.
“Over the past week, I have received various accounts regarding the recent theft and robbery incidents victimizing bikers,” said Cayetano, herself a road bike and mountain bike enthusiast.
“Upon learning of these incidents, my office coordinated with the PNP in the locations frequented by the bikers in the south. We have asked that they stay on alert and respond to any calls from the bikers.”
Among the cases reported to Cayetano’s office is the incident where seven mountain bikes were forcibly taken by armed men from a group of about twenty riders along the Paliparan-Tubohan trails off Daang Hari Highway in the morning of January 15.
Earlier that same week, a lone biker was beaten up and stabbed in the thigh with an icepick by unidentified robbers, who then took his bike and helmet. The ‘bike-jackers’ then escaped using an old L300 van with no plate number. The incident reportedly took place along El Grande Ave. in BF Homes, Paranaque at around six in the morning of January 11.
In various e-mail groups, several bikers have aired concern for their security and have alerted their peers to take extra precautions on the road. Some also suspect that the perpetrators could be selling the stolen bikes as ‘chop-chop’ parts in the same way that carjackers are known to chop-up and sell portions of stolen vehicles as ‘second-hand’ or ‘surplus’ auto parts.
In an open letter to her fellow bikers posted on her official website and Facebook page, Cayetano listed down police hotline numbers for bikers to call in cases of emergency. She also advised bikers to try not to ride alone and instead join bigger groups on the road “as there is strength in numbers.” #