By Jennifer P. Rendon
Four men who allegedly joined an unsanctioned motorcycle race were arrested afternoon of February 25, 2021 in Dumangas, Iloilo.
The suspects were identified as brothers Jerico Berja, 18, and Jeric Berja, 25, both of Barangay Tuburan, Pototan, Iloilo; their brother Zaldy Berja, 27, of Barangay Pagdugue, Dumangas; and Harry Perarez, 21, of Barangay Licu-an, Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo.
Major Joven Arevalo, Dumangas police chief, said the four were arrested along the national highway at Pagdugue village around 4PM Thursday.
Jerico and Harry were the riders while Jerico was the bet collector-cum-race promoter. Zaldy acted as the mechanic.
Recovered from their possession were a Euro motorcycle, a Honda motorcycle, and PHP41,000 in cash bets.
Arevalo said the group initially planned to hold the drag racing at Leganes town. But they aborted the plan after seeing police officers patrolling the area.
They switched their venue to Barotac Nuevo town but ended up at the Pagdugue, which is between Barotac Nuevo and Dumangas.
Arevalo said an informant tipped them about the race, prompting police officers to respond to the area.
It was gathered that the suspects might be penalized under Presidential Decree 1602 or the anti-illegal gambling law of the country.
While there is no law against illegal street racing, the House Committee on Transportation recently approved House Bill No. 3391, which seeks to prohibit and penalize drag racing activities on all public roads across the Philippines.
Under the bill, violators will be slapped with PHP300,000 to PHP500,000 penalty and may face jail time of up to one year.