Traffic police group re-launches ‘tokhang’ vs. ‘wangwang’

MANILA--Motorists who insist on using unauthorized emergency blinkers and sirens popularly known as "wangwangs" may soon get a visit from the police.

Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) Director Police Chief Supt. Arnel Escobal said following the recent reminder from President Rodrigo R. Duterte to crack down on unauthorized use of emergency lights and sirens, they will be acting on complaints reaching their office regarding the matter.

"We are specifically relaunching yung Operation Tokhang vs. Wangwang," Escobal said adding that the public may reach them through their hotline 7444-474, calling on complainants to give details including license plate numbers of motor vehicles that illegally use these lights and sirens.

For his part, PNP chief Oscar Albayalde said the PNP will be working closely with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to see if unauthorized sirens and lights are attached.

"Nakikita natin na naabuso talaga itong mga wangwang at naiinis na rin ang ating mga kababayan (We see that this wangwang is being abused and this irritates the public)," he said.

Aside from on-the-spots seizures, HPG personnel said may also opt to work with the LTO to visit the homes of owners of these unauthorized lights and request them to voluntarily surrender these gadgets.

The HPG is seeking an additional 7,000 personnel to enforce its mandate presently being undertaken by 1,500 men.

Under the law, only members of the armed forces, PNP, the National Bureau of Investigation, LTO, fire engines and ambulances are the only vehicles authorized to use lights and sirens.

Meanwhile, the HPG presented to the media the first four Multi-Purpose Patrol Vehicles for high risk vehicle intervention and hot pursuit, search and rescue, and disaster relief.

Based on a Mitsubishi Montero base vehicle, the new patrol cars sport steel bumpers, all terrain tires, winches, flood traverse equipment, and advanced first aid equipment as well as a holding area for fugitive.

Escobal said the initial four units will be deployed in the National Capital Region although they are keen on providing similar vehicles for their provincial units.(PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency