MANILA - The Supreme Court (SC) upheld on Tuesday Quezon City’s imposition of a curfew on minors, which began full implementation when President Rodrigo Duterte made public his all-out war against illegal drugs, according to unimpeachable sources.
The SC, through Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe, ruled that Ordinance No. SP-2301, Series of 2014 issued by the Quezon City local government is constitutional and compliant with guidelines.
The ordinance imposes a curfew on minors from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
However, the high court struck down Ordinance No. 8046 of the City of Manila, and Pambansang Ordinansa Blg. 2002-13 of Navotas, which implement curfews from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., for failure to provide the least restrictive means to address the compelling state interest they seek to further.
As for Manila's City ordinance, the penal provisions of which impose reprimand, the high court said fines and imprisonment on minors are in conflict with Section 57-A of Republic Act 9344, also known as the Juvenile Delinquency Act.
The petition was filed by the Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan, which raised the following issues:
- The Manila curfew ordinance is contrary to RA No. 9344, also known as the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act;
- The curfew ordinances are unconstitutional under the doctrine of void for vagueness because it results in arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement;
- The curfew ordinance is unconstitutional for overbreadth by proscribing or impairing legitimate activities of minors during curfew hours;
- The curfew ordinances are unconstitutional because these deprive minors of the right to liberty and the right to travel without substantive due process; and
- The curfew ordinances are unconstitutional because these deprive parents of the natural and primary right in the rearing of the youth without substantive due process.
In July 2016, the SC had issued a temporary restraining order on the implementation of the curfew ordinances for minors in the cities of Quezon, Manila and Navotas.