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SC stops NCAP; prohibits apprehension of motorists

August 30, 2022 Hector Lawas 312 views

THE Supreme Court en banc on Tuesday issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) stopping the implementation of the controversial “No Contact Apprehension Policy” (NCAP), which was being implemented in several key cities in the National Capital Region (NCR).

In a resolution, the high court en banc also set an oral argument on the petitions separately filed by lawyer Juman Paa and Kilusan sa Pagbabago ng Industriya ng Tranportasyon, Inc., Pasang Masda, Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (ALTODAP), and Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization (ACTO).

The oral arguments proceeding will be held on January 24, 2023.

Also, the SC said that any apprehensions under the NCAP shall be prohibited until further orders.

Likewise, the high court enjoined the Land Transportation Office (LTO) from giving out motorist information to all local government units (LGUs), cities, and municipalities enforcing NCAP programs.

In his petition, Atty. Paa, who was fined P20,000 for supposedly violating NCAP in the City of Manila, has questioned the legality of the new traffic scheme before the high bench.

In a 75-page petition, Paa asked the high court to declare as “unconstitutional” the Manila Ordinance No. 8676. Pending adjudication, he sought the immediate issuance of a TRO.

According to him, he learned about his violation when he tried to register his vehicle with the LTO.

He was told by LTO personnel that his registration won’t be processed until he paid the exact fine of P20,360 for violating NCAP.

In challenging the legality of the ordinance, Paa disclosed that his right to due process was ignored, and his right to privacy was “trampled upon”.

Paa claimed that his personal information, including his vehicle, was posted on the City of Manila website for those who allegedly violated traffic regulations within city limits.

Apart from Manila, the other cities implementing NCAP in Metro Manila are Quezon City, Valenzuela, and Parañaque.

The other petitioners, the Kilusan sa Pagbabago ng Industriya ng Tranportasyon, Inc., Pasang Masda, Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (ALTODAP), and Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization (ACTO), said that there is no law yet authorizing the implementation of NCAP in Metro Manila.

“To date, there is no statute passed by Congress, which establishes or implements a ‘No Contact Apprehension’, or adds and expands the coverage of persons, other than the offending driver, who are liable for committing traffic violations,” the petition read.

“In fact, under Article 7 of the New Civil Code, administrative or executive acts, orders, or regulations shall be valid only when they are not contrary to the laws or the Constitution,” it added.

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