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SC asked to stop no-contact apprehension policy in Manila

A lawyer has joined the call of several transport groups in urging the Supreme Court to stop the implementation of the no-contact apprehension policy.

In a 22-page petition, Atty. Juman Paa urged the high court to declare as unconstitutional and issue a temporary restraining order against Manila City Ordinance No. 8676, which implements the policy.

Respondents named were Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna and the city council.

In June, while attempting to register his vehicle, Paa found that he has to pay for four violations he allegedly committed from May to July amounting to P20,000.

Paa, however, said he did not receive any notice of violation. Upon examination of the notice, he observed that his residence was entered at Manuguit, Taguig instead of Manuguit, Tondo.

He argued that he should not be charged for surcharges and other interests as the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau failed to furnish the first notice of violation.

Further, he said there is also a clear violation of his privacy after he accessed his traffic violations by entering his plate number on the website of Manila.

“The lack of security protocols in the NCAP website of the City of Manila places the registered owner in a maligning and humiliating situation,” the petition read.

“Worse, it can be used by criminals who might pose as public officers and threaten the vehicle owner with their NCAP violations which would result to extortion or corruption,” it added.

He also argued that the ordinance is “unfair and oppressive” as it penalizes the owner of the vehicle and not the one who was driving it during the time of the violation.

“This is an outright abuse of authority as the City of Manila makes the registered owner liable for the violations that may have been committed by other persons without the benefit of hearing or investigating at the least,” it read.

Paa also pointed out that the fines and interests under the Manila ordinance are “unreasonably higher” than the usual amount imposed by the Metro Manila Development Authority and the Land Transportation Office.

GMA News Online has reached out to the Manila city government for comment but has yet to receive a reply as of posting time.

On Tuesday, groups Kapit, Pasang Masda, Altodap, and the Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations filed a petition against several local ordinances related to the no-contact apprehension policy in five cities in Metro Manila.

The LTO has previously asked local governments to temporarily suspend the implementation of the policy with chief Teofilo Guadiz III calling on the mayors of the five cities to sit down with the LTO and MMDA to create uniform guidelines.

Some mayors, however, have already voiced their opposition to the proposed suspension of the policy.—LDF, GMA News