SC asked to stop higher traffic violation fines

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 10 2014 06:41 PM | Updated as of Jun 11 2014 02:41 AM

MANILA - Transport groups urged the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday to halt the implementation of stiffer penalties for traffic violations.

In a 17-page petition for certiorari, the Angat Tsuper Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator ng Pilipinas-Genuine Organization (STOP GO) questioned Joint Administrative Order No. 2014-01 issued by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and Land Transportation Office (LTO), which shall take effect on June 19, for grave abuse of discretion.

Under the order, the penalties for colorum vehicles are pegged at P1 million for buses, P200,000 for trucks, P50,000 for jeepneys, P200,000 for vans, P120,000 for taxis, and P6,000 for tricyles for first offenses.

Violators' colorum vehicles will also be impounded for three months and the public utility vehicles shall be blacklisted.

Named as respondents in the petition were DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, LTFRB Assistant Secretary Alfonso Tan, and LTFRB Chairman Winston Ginez.

The petitioner said it is not clear in the challenged order as to who shall pay the fines - the operators or the drivers.

The unprecedented spike in the penalties is unjust and violative of the right to due process, according to the petitioner.

The petitioner also stressed that the order is oppressive for depriving operators and drivers income.