The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has enjoined all district and station commanders to strictly adhere to the policy prohibiting the unauthorized use of sirens and blinkers, popularly known as “wang-wang,” which have become a symbol of abuse of power.
NCRPO director Maj. Gen. Felipe Natividad also warned police personnel using these gadgets on their private cars or providing escorts to vehicles of VIPs in violation of the law.
“Director Natividad urged all district directors and chiefs of police to observe the strict implementation of “anti wang-wang” and blinkers in all their police interventions, checkpoints, and patrol operations,” the NCRPO stated.
Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. had ordered the crackdown against “wang-wangs” amid the reported proliferation of the device on major thoroughfares, especially along Epifanio de los Santos Ave.
Police Highway Patrol Group director Brig. Gen. Francisco Marbil said at present, the law only prohibits the installation of sirens and blinkers on unauthorized vehicles, but not the sale of these devices.
“I hope it will be part of the legislative agenda for this incoming Congress. We really need to regulate [not just the use but also the sale] of blinkers and sirens [so that] enforcement agencies can control these,” Marbil said in a radio interview.
Under Presidential Decree No. 96, motorists are prohibited from using emergency devices, including blinkers and dome lights.
These emergency devices are allowed only on ambulances, fire trucks, and for personnel of the PNP, the military, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board during emergency situations.
Also allowed to use them are the country’s top five officials including the President, the Vice-President, the Senate President, the Speaker, and the Chief Justice.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), meanwhile, stated it will comply with the parameters of the PNP Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) to go after abusive drivers using sirens and blinkers.
The agency also issued a memorandum prohibiting all its officials and employees from using sirens and blinkers and other similar devices except under certain conditions.
“Sirens and blinkers should be attached to marked MMDA vehicles and used in the actual performance of the duties and functions of the agency. Violators among our ranks will face administrative charges,” said MMDA Officer-in-Charge Baltazar Melgar.
The MMDA also pulled out its motorcycle escorts detailed to various government officials in support of the drive against illegal use of blinkers and sirens.
Netizens recently asked the government to look into a number of incidents involving luxury vehicles using sirens and blinker lights, avoiding heavy traffic on major streets in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito also shared a video footage showing a BMW, a Rolls Royce and a Mercedes Benz car driving past and overtaking other vehicles in broad daylight.
“Tell me if this is not abuse. BMW GS1250 as escort, Rolls Royce Culinan, and a Mercedes G63 for a back up! Itigil na ito!” tweeted Ejercito, who said that the video clip was sent to him by a “friend.”
The senator said heavy traffic cannot justify the use of sirens and escorts along busy thoroughfares.
Ejercito hopes the Marcos administration would prohibit the unauthorized use of escorts, sirens, and blinkers.