Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade encountered on the road two motorcycle riders who acted as police escorts (hagad) of private vehicles. And because they cut off on the road, he confronted them. A concerned netizen was able to capture it on video, and posted it on Facebook. Watch the video below.
According to a certain Rushell Mantillas on Sunday, April 15, the two police escorts cut off at Daang Hari road in Cavite where Sec Tugade is also passing through. The netizen said they appeared to be members of HPG (Highway Patrol Group) based on their uniforms. On the video, you can hear the Transportation Secretary questioning them.
On Wednesday, the DOTr shared the video on their official Facebook page and added more information about the incident. According to them, Sec Tugade does not use police escorts when he travels, which is why he was not able to follow them. But coincidentally, he and the 2 motorcycle escorts stopped at The Orchard Golf and Country Club.
While talking to Sec. Tugade, the two police escorts said that they were escorting tourist diplomats from the Korean embassy. The Koreans were identified as Lee Hong Geun, Lee Ho Jin, Lee Youn Chul, and Joung Yong Je. But upon verifying with the authorities, the DOTr said the riders were confirmed not to be members of the HPG.
It was also learned that the Koreans were not diplomats because their vehicles have no diplomat plates. Later, the police escorts admitted that they don’t know the tourists, and that the latter allegedly came from a casino. According to the DOTr, the identities of the 2 riders are still unknown and the incident is still under thorough investigation.
Based on the law, locals and tourists in the Philippines can be escorted by police vehicles or convoy provided that it was approved by the governor, mayor, and the senior official of the police escorts. One of the main reasons that they are allowed is when under significant threat. But still, they should also follow traffic rules.