Court junks indirect contempt raps vs Abaya, Ginez
The Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 84 has refused to cite for indirect contempt Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya and Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chair Winston Ginez.
Transport group Angat Tsuper Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator ng Pilipinas Genuine Organization (Stop and Go), in a motion filed in court, wanted Abaya and Ginez to be cited for indirect contempt for allowing the operation of the Bus Rapid Transport despite an existing temporary restraining order issued last year by the QCRTC Branch 217.
The order stopped the implementation of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Department Order No. 2015-11 which allowed the operation of new modes of transport including the Transportation Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) and the Bus Rapid Transport.
Government lawyers told the court that Abaya and Ginez could not be cited for indirect contempt because there was no complaint and only a mere motion was filed in court.
In its order released on Friday, QCRTC Branch 84 Judge Luisito Cortez agreed with the government lawyers.
Citing Rule 71 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, QCRTC said indirect contempt may be initiated by the court itself if a contemptuous act against it was committed by parties to a case or a formal charge.
“A charge of indirect contempt must be initiated through a verified petition, unless the charge is directly made by the court against which the contemptuous act is committed,” the court said.
“Thus, petitioner (Stop and Go) should file a verified petition for indirect contempt against respondents instead of filing a mere motion to this court,” it added. RC
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.