Lawyer who gets P20K worth of no-contact apprehension penalty seeks SC help | Inquirer News

Lawyer who gets P20K worth of no-contact apprehension penalty seeks SC help

/ 07:21 PM August 18, 2022
Supreme Court receives second petition to stop no-contact apprehension policy

FILE PHOTO: The Supreme Court logo. (INQUIRER/LYN RILLON)

MANILA, Philippines — A lawyer fined a total of P20,360 for traffic violations in Manila filed before the Supreme Court (SC) a petition, which is the second the high court received thus far, to stop the no-contact apprehension policy (NCAP).

Lawyer Juman Paa, in his petition, urged the SC to declare unconstitutional Manila City Ordinance 8676 series of 2020. In addition, while the case is still pending, he asked the SC to issue a restraining order against NCAP’s implementation.

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The City of Manila started implementing NCAP under Ordinance 8676 in December 2020. CCTVs were installed around Manila, so traffic violators would be fined without physical contact.

READ: WATCH: Manila gov’t starts no-contact apprehension, dispels lockdown rumors 

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Paa learned of his violations when the Land Transportation Office told him that his vehicle could not be registered unless he paid the fines for NCAP in Manila.

His violation was Obstruction of the Pedestrian Lane on four instances from May to July 2021.

Paa said he did not receive any Notice of Violation despite claims of the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB). Query before the MTPB showed that the notices were sent to Taguig instead of his house in Manila.

He argued that since there was a failure to provide him with notice of violation, he should not have been charged with penalties and surcharges.

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Still, the lawyer paid in protest his fine worth P13,000 plus the interest and surcharges worth P7,360, which he said was much higher compared to all the penalties prescribed by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

“In this regard, the petitioner was also subjected to excessive fines and penalties, and also the computation of interest was not properly detailed for purposes of fairness,” read his petition.

Violation of right to due process

He said the Ordinance on Manila’s NCAP violates a person’s right to due process after being told not to contest the amount being collected since the ten days to contest his violation have lapsed.

“Notice and hearing are the important requirements of procedural due process of law, and deprivation the same would render all the process invalid,” he said, adding that he should not be charged with penalties and surcharges for repeated violations when he was not even aware of a first violation.

He added the ordinance is “unfair and oppressive” because it penalizes the owner of the vehicle and not the driver.

Person’s right to privacy

Manila’s NCAP has its own website where one can see the number of traffic violations committed by a person by merely typing the vehicle’s plate number. MTPB has access to the database of the LTO relative to the details of the vehicle, including but not limited to the name of the owner, address, and details of the vehicle.

Paa said he tried to check his traffic violations by entering his plate number on Manila’s NCAP website; without any security protocol such as a one-time pin, the record of violations appeared on the screen.

“The lack of security protocols in the NCAP website of the City of Manila places the registered owner in a maligning and humiliating situation. Worse, it can be used by criminals who might poise as public officers and threaten the vehicle owners with their NCAP violations which would result to extortion or corruption,” he added.

Named respondent in the petition is the Manila City Council, Manila Mayor Maria Sheilah “Honey Lacuna” Lacuna-Pangan.

Earlier, a similar petition was filed by transport groups against LTO and Local Government Units of Manila, Quezon City, Valenzuela, Parañaque City, and Muntinlupa City.

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SC asked to stop no-contact apprehension policy 

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TAGS: Manila, NCAP, no-contact apprehension, ordinance, Petition, SC, traffic
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