PHILIPPINE National Police Highway Patrol Group director Chief Superintendent Roberto B. Fajardo yesterday ordered all his regional chiefs to immediately return recovered stolen motor vehicles and motorcycles to their rightful owners as soon as all the necessary proof of ownership and other requirements are met.
“Part of our duty is to see to it that recovered stolen vehicles will be immediately returned to their rightful owners by looking for them through different means,” the official told the Journal Group.
They include posting details of the recovered stolen motor vehicles and motorcycles on their Facebook page or immediately notifying the registered owners by mail or their contact numbers.
Fajardo said that by returning recovered stolen motor vehicles to their rightful owners as soon as possible, they would also be able to address congestion in different HPG impounding areas.
“My order for my regional chiefs is very clear: immediately return recovered stolen vehicles to their rightful, their registered owners as soon as all requirements are met. Only vehicles which are subject of court cases, those which have been considered as evidence should not be returned unless there is a court order,” the official said.
Fajardo is currently overseeing an HPG program which aims to decongest all their impounding areas by disposing of through public bidding all recovered motor vehicles with no claimants for years and in accordance with all government rules and regulations.
At present, hundreds of recovered stolen motor vehicles including SUVs, trucks, jeeps, cars, vans, wagons and different public utility vehicles are rotting at the HPG main impounding area in Camp Crame, exposed to the elements for years.
As allowed by government rules, these motor vehicles can be sold through public auction if they have no more claimants within the prescribed years. Many of these impounded motor vehicles have been at the HPG impounding area as far back as 2000.
Fajardo said he has ordered his regional chiefs outside Camp Crame to report the situation in their respective impounding areas and to fully comply with his directive.
“Unless they are considered as evidence in court, I want these recovered motor vehicles returned to their rightful owners immediately, no ifs and buts,” he said while adding he wants to hear the words of gratitude of victims of car and motorcycle theft who got back their properties, not cusses from victims who complain that they were not informed that their vehicles have been recovered, that the recovered vehicles are being used by the recovering officers, or the vehicles have been stripped of their spare parts and accessories while under the custody of the police.
The official said he is set to replace very soon some HPG regional chiefs who have been registering “dismal performance” in their campaign against carjacking, highway robbery and hijacking.
Fajardo particularly mentioned officials who have been remiss in their job leading to a noted increase in cases of motorcycle and motor vehicles theft in their areas last year. Records showed that only the Regional Highway Patrol Units 3 and 4-A respectively in Central Luzon and Calabarzon regions have registered a major reduction in theft of vehicles specifically motorcycles.