Oliver Bugarin 3 0 0 6 min to read

TRO to enable thorough NCAP review by the House: solon

A congressman stated on Wednesday that the Supreme Court’s decision to temporarily halt the no-contact apprehension policy (NCAP) would enable the House of Representatives to examine the program’s purported shortcomings, including its legitimacy.

Robert Ace Barbers, a representative from Surigao del Norte, said the chamber would look into the problems plaguing the policy, stating that despite the noble goal of NCAP to punish “erring, abusive, and wayward” motorists, these flaws should be remedied first.

“The SC is to be commended for issuing a TRO versus NCAP at this precise time. This would give Lower House members and all other interested parties an opportunity to carefully evaluate and research the claimed problems in the NCAP implementation, “Barbers said.

Party-list 1 for Pacman While this was going on, Rep. Mikee Romero argued that the government organizations and local government units that carried out the contentious program should reimburse those who paid fines for alleged violations.

“The responsible authorities and LGUs should reimburse the accused violators the penalties collected from them,” he added. “Now that the Supreme Court has issued a TRO against this program.”

He was referring specifically to the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the cities of Manila, Quezon, San Juan, Valenzuela, Paranaque, and Muntinlupa.

He pointed out that attorney Juman Paa, who is one of the complainants in the two lawsuits against NCAP that are currently before the Supreme Court, had complained of receiving notices for four infractions for which he was requested to pay more than PHP20,000 in fines.

Romero added that several NCAP infractions of the Commonwealth Avenue speed limit of 60 kph were reported to several Quezon City residents.

The alerts demonstrate that the claimed infractions occurred about 1-2 minutes apart. One camera must have captured the video evidence of the alleged offenses. This demonstrates how this technique might be abused, he claimed.

The perpetrators in this case, he claimed, are not protected from abuse “since they cannot dispute the tape and the camera that captured it.”

Romero said that after giving the MMDA and the five cities that implemented NCAP the names and residential locations of the suspected violators, the LTO may have violated the Data Privacy Act.

“I hope the information doesn’t end up in the hands of criminals who might exploit it for extortion,” he remarked.

Rep. Joey Salceda of Albay said there were glaring legal deficiencies and added that law enforcement could not be carried out without providing the public with proper means of redress or educating them about their rights.

We are also researching our options for helping the petitioners, including the possibility of filing an amicus brief. That is still a possibility. In particular, I would like to draw the court’s attention to issues with the NCAP’s PPP-based structure, Salceda stated.

While Salceda does not object to PPPs being used to provide services in the course of traffic apprehension, he claimed that doing so would pose hazards to drivers’ right to privacy, their right to a fair trial, and the legitimacy of the state’s use of its police power.

“It should be the responsibility of some police or quasi-judicial entity to determine the driver’s fault.” “Especially if that private entity has an interest in catching more violators, there cannot be a private party instructing the government to stop this or that motorist,” explained he.

Considering that the way the program is organized might not even be legal without consent from the President, he emphasized the necessity to study the PPP Guidelines released by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the PPP Center.

“I believe that right now is the perfect time to study a framework and genuinely interact with all stakeholders, notably transportation workers who have no choice but to work every day on the road despite the possibility of being punished, “added he.

The SC stated in a statement on Tuesday that the TRO prevents the implementation of NCAP-related programs and regulations and that any arrests made in accordance with the aforementioned policies and ordinances “will be forbidden pending further directions from the Court.”

The LTO and “any parties acting on its behalf” are prohibited from providing motorist information to any governmental entities, cities, or municipalities that are enforcing NCAP programs and ordinances by the order.

On January 24, 2023, oral arguments in the case are expected to begin.

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