MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday launched its Tactical Motorcycle Riding Units (TMRUs) and "secret marshals on motorcycles" to boost its fight against motorcycle-riding hitmen.
In a statement, the police said the Enhanced Managing Police Operations (EMPO) would be revisited as a tool to avert so-called "riding-in-tandem" crime.
“While the use of motorcycles in the Philippines is a popular mode of transportation, motorcycles are also utilized by criminals to easily flee from a crime scene," Police Chief Gen. Debold Sinas was quoted as saying in the statement.
"[Motorcycle] provides increased maneuverability to navigate to narrow and crowded alleys, sidewalks, busy streets, and even major thoroughfares.”
Police said the units and marshals would be "activated" as an additional support to the EMPO, which will focus on high-priority crimes and would undertake directed and preventive patrol assignments.
The police noted a lower crime rate last year, but said it was partly due to the lockdown restrictions.
As the country slowly reopens, the PNP said it anticipated "there would be increased opportunities for would-be offenders to commit street crimes, including those who use motorcycles, hence the need to proactive and tactically-skilled enforcement units."
The PNP also explained that TMRUs are "strategically trained" motorcycle-mounted patrollers that can respond to incidents.
The secret marshals, meanwhile, are "dedicated covert operatives" involved in monitoring motorcycle-riding suspects "in the validated list."