MANILA – The Supreme Court (SC) has asked the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to answer a petition assailing a joint order which hiked fines for traffic violations.
The SC asked DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, one of the respondents in the petition, to file his comment within ten days.
In a 17-page petition for certiorari, the Angat Tsuper, and Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator ng Pilipinas-Genuine Organization (Stop & Go) questioned Joint Administrative Order No. 2014-01 issued by the DOTC, Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and Land Transportation Office (LTO) for grave abuse of discretion.
The joint order shall take effect this Thursday, June 19.
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 tricylces for first offenses.
Violators' colorum vehicles will also be impounded for three months and the public utility vehicles shall be blacklisted.
The order also prescribes higher fines and penalties for drivers or operators cited for traffic violations.
Named as respondents in the petition were 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. – reports from Alex Calda, dzMM; and Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News