Report-a-Wang-Wang Facebook page rises; VP Binay disagrees with Noynoy's

Hours after Pres. Noynoy Aquino vowed no more wang-wang (sirens) in his inauguration speech, a Facebook fan page called "Isumbong Mo Ang Wang Wang Dito" was put up, reports ABS-CBNNews.com. The page called for netizens to report and post photos of unauthorized use of sirens.

As of posting time, over 4,400 Facebook users have already "liked" the page. The page's wall has been flooded with reports and opinions, but only a few photos have been posted so far. One of the page's fans, Rod Reyes, wrote, "[I] have always hated the 'wang wangs'; it's high time that something is done about it. This particular practice of using 'wang wangs' is a concrete example of inequality and abuse of power here in the Philippines."

Aquino's statement has actually been a law for the past 37 years. Under Presidential Decree 96, only hospital ambulances and vehicles of the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Bureau of Investigation, Land Transportation Office and Bureau of Fire Protection are allowed to use sirens or similar gadgets.

The president, vice president, senate president, house speaker and chief justice are also given the privilege of using sirens. But Aquino said on June 29 that he would not use sirens as much as possible, reports ABS-CBNNews.com. True to his promise, Aquino's convoy did not use their sirens and stopped at a red light on their way to Malacanang on June 30.

Aquino said he would suggest the policy to Vice Pres. Jejomar Binay and the other government officials allowed to use sirens. However, Binay told dzMM on June 30 that government officials should not be banned from using sirens. "It depends on the situation. As a former mayor, I know responding immediately to shootouts, hostage-taking incidents and the like is important," he said in a mix of Filipino and English, reports ABS-CBNNews.com.

Philippine National Police Director General Jesus Verzosa has ordered operations against unauthorized use of sirens to be intensified, reports Inquirer.net.

To report unauthorized use of sirens to the LTO, text 0918-9447951, outgoing LTO Head Alberto Suansing told Unang Hirit on July 1. Violators would have to pay a penalty of P15,000 and their sirens or similar devices would be confiscated.

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