The Negros Oriental Highway Patrol Group, headed by Senior Inspector Robelito Mariano, and assisted by the Dumaguete police, led by Supt. Jovito Atanacio, rounded up more than a dozen drag racers due to complaints from residents for blocking the main road to their homes Saturday and for conducting a race without proper permits.
Mariano said the organizers claimed they have the permit for the event as part of the sports activities during the Buglasan Festival, but could not present it when asked during a confrontation with them at the drag race site behind the Negros Oriental State University Bajumpandan campus in Dumaguete City.
The 13 motorcycles were brought to the HPG headquarters, including one turned over by the Bacong police for proper documentation. Initial investigation showed most of the motorcycles have inconsistent entries, some of them have no engine and chassis number, no registration, and incomplete accessories, among others.
Mariano earlier said major parts of carnapped motorcycles often land in the black markets on orders of drag race enthusiasts.
Participants of the drag race come from Murcia, Kabankalan City, and Bacolod City in Negros Occidental, Cebu, Bohol, and the different towns in Negros Oriental.
Mariano said the motorcycles can only be released if their owners can provide the necessary documents, and that all accessories should be put in place, like tail lights, signal lights, head lights, and mirrors, among others. It was noticed that most of the seized units have defaced engine chassis.
Unconfirmed reports have it that politicians are calling the HPG office for the release of the motorcycles and to let the organizers answer for what had happened.
The issue was brought up during the barangay assembly of Bajumpandan Sunday because it was never brought to the council for approval. In fact, the Peace and Order Committee was blind on the activity. It was learned that the organizers came to the barangay hall to inform about the activity, and that it has the blessings of the governor and the mayor.
Atanacio confirmed that it was Dumaguete Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo who ordered the drag race stopped because of complaints and that he has not issued any permit for the activity.
It was learned later that a resolution was approved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod for the conduct of such event but the mayor had no knowledge of it.
The HPG said some of the motorcycle owners requested to take with them the carburetors of their units because they are very costly, as high as P29,000, and the same were recorded in the logbook.
The owners/drivers were issued citation tickets and the units can be claimed after the penalties are paid, provided that all of the accessories are returned to the original position and after the needed documents are presented.*JG
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