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Supreme Court issues TRO vs Angkas operations

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

(File photo)

The Supreme Court on Wednesday (December 12) issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against a Mandaluyong court’s decision that allowed the operation of motorcycle-ride hailing service, Angkas, to continue.

The Supreme Court’s order states that the authority and mandate of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to regulate all public transport operating in the country should not be disregarded.

In line with this, the LTFRB has set a special board meeting on Wednesday afternoon to create a resolution that will authorize traffic law enforcers to apprehend Angkas motorcycles operating in the streets.

Last September, the Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court Branch 213 ruled in favor of resuming the operation of Angkas in Metro Manila. — Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue

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SC grants IBP request to talk with fishermen in West PH Sea Kalikasan suit

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday granted the request of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for more time to talk with Zambales and Palawan fishermen who were involved in a petition for the West Philippine Sea.

SC Public Information chief Brian Keith Hosaka said the high court has decided to grant the IBP’s motion for extension of time to confer with clients to comply with SC’s order to move in the premises in the Writ of Kalikasan suit.

“Supreme Court En Banc has granted the ‘motion for extension of time to confer with clients and obtain special authority’ filed by the IBP on behalf of the petitioners in the case of Abogado et al. vs DENR et al. GR No. 246209 last July 12, 2019,” Hosaka said.

A “move in the premises” resolution means that the parties involved are obliged to inform the Court of pertinent developments to the case which may be of help to the Court in its immediate disposition.

The IBP earlier asked the SC to give them time to confer with the fishermen in Zambales and in Palawan so “they can more appropriately act on the developments in the case” after the government claimed fishermen involved in the case have disowned the petition.

READ: IBP wants time to talk with fishermen in West PH Sea Kalikasan petition

Solicitor General Jose Calida earlier said 19 of the fishermen who were named as petitioners backed out from the case, saying they had no knowledge of the Writ of Kalikasan suit seeking for the protection of the West Philippine Sea. Of the total 37 petitioners, 13 said they did not sign their affidavits while 24 signed but presented no identification.

A Writ of Kalikasan is a legal remedy available to persons or groups whose right to a balanced and healthy ecology is threatened or violated.

The IBP was given until July 19 (Friday) to talk with their clients and comply with the SC’s order.

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Safety reminders for motorcycle riders

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Monday, July 1st, 2019

After the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has allowed app-based motorcycle taxi Angkas to operate, authorities reiterate the safety reminders when riding a motorcycle.

READ: DOTr allows motorcycle ride-hailing firm Angkas to legally operate

All motorcycles should be registered at the Land Transportation Office (LTO). They must also follow various speed limits.

MOTORCYCLE SPEED LIMIT

  • 80 kph on open country roads with no blind corners
  • 40 kph on “through streets” or roads clear of traffic and without blind corners
  • 30 kph if there’s light traffic and it’s not a through street
  • 20 kph everywhere else

For EDSA and other main roads in Metro Manila, the blue lane is strictly implemented for motorcycle riders.

According to EDSA Traffic Manager Bong Nebrija, motorcycles use the blue lane for them to be visible to other motorists.

“Ang hirap sila makita kasi kung nasaan saan sila so we decided na dito lang muna kayo para lahat ng mga vehicles truck man iyan kotse man iyan o other motorcycles (It is very difficult to monitor their location so we decided to place them here so that all vehicles including trucks or other motorcycles) they would know that they should look out for motorcycles,” he said.

There should also be one passenger or back rider. Carrying a cargo should only be limited to ‘luggage carriers’ approved by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

A motorcycle should also have the following:

  • Headlights
  • Tail lights
  • Signal lights
  • Brake lights
  • Side mirror
  • Horn

The LTO also allowed motorcycles to have supplementary LED or high-intensity discharge lamps. However, the LTO said it should be pointing downwards.

Motorcycle riders should also wear closed shoes and not sandals or flip-flops.

Children passengers, meanwhile, are not allowed on public roads where traffic is heavy and fast unless…

  • The child can comfortably rest his/her feet on the foot peg
  • The child’s arms can reach around and grasp the waist of the driver
  • The child has a helmet
  • In emergency situations

Nebrija also reminded the motorcycle riders not to stay close to big trucks and always keep their headlights on even during day time.

“Para makita sila maging visible sila kasi ang liit ng profile ng motor hindi ba you could hardly see it. Ang kultura pa naman ng Pilipino hindi sila sanay to watch out for motorcycles (So that they can be visible because a motor’s profile is very small you could hardly see it. One Filipino culture is they are not used to watch out for motorcycles),” he said.—AAC (with reports from Mon Jocson)

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SolGen Calida wants Justice Carpio to inhibit from West Philippine Sea case

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, July 1st, 2019

Solicitor General Jose Calida (L) and SC Associate Justice Antonio Carpio (R)

MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has filed a motion before the Supreme Court (SC) asking SC Associate Justice Antonio Carpio to inhibit from participating in the petition urging the Duterte government to protect the marine resources in the West Philippine Sea.

Solicitor General Jose Calida cited ‘personal bias’ and ‘manifest partiality’ against Carpio for his active participation in the South China Sea Arbitral Proceedings in 2016 and for being critical of the Duterte Administration’s actions in relation to the issue in the West Philippine Sea.

Calida insisted that Carpio’s representation of the Philippines in the International Arbitral Tribunal is enough to disqualify him from holding the case.

In May, the SC upheld the Writ for Kalikasan petition filed by a fisherfolk group in Palawan and Zambales seeking protection of marine resources in the West Philippine Sea particularly the Scarborough Shoal or Panatag Shoal; the Ayungin Shoal, and the Panganiban Reef also known as the Mischief Reef.

Among the respondents in the case are the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR); the Department of Agriculture; the Philippine Navy (PN); the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG); the Philippine National Police (PNP); and the Department of Justice (DOJ), which according to the petitioners, failed to protect the country’s territory from irresponsible fishing and damaging activities of Chinese fishermen.

The group also cited the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s decision considering Ayungin Shoal and the Panganiban Reef as part of the Philippines exclusive economic zone (EEZ) while based on Republic Act 95-22 also known as the Philippine Baselines Law, Panatag Shoal is also part of the country’s EEZ.

On the other hand, the SC cannot force a magistrate to inhibit from a case, said Attorney George Erwin Garcia of the Pamantasang ng Lungsod ng Maynila College of Law.

According to Garcia, it is the magistrate’s personal decision whether to inhibit or not from any case.

“It’s an absolute discretion din ng mismong huwes, ng mismong judge or justice na pinapa-inhibit ( It’s an absolute discretion of the judge or justice being requested to inhibit). Walang pwedeng mag-force sa kanya (Nobody can force him). It is best left to the sole discretion and wisdom of the judge subject of the motion for inhibition,” Garcia said.

Likewise, it is also inappropriate to cite “personal bias” as ground for inhibition.

The Canon 3 or impartiality provision of the New Code of Judicial Conduct states that: “Judges shall disqualify themselves from participating in any proceedings in which they are unable to decide the matter impartially or in which it may appear to a reasonable observer that they are unable to decide the matter impartially.”

These reasons include cases wherein the judge “has actual bias or prejudice concerning a party or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceedings; has served as a lawyer or was a material witness in the matter in controversy; has a member of his or her family who has an economic interest in the outcome of the matter in controversy; and has served as executor, trustee or lawyer in the case or matter in controversy.

“Minsan, to a certain extent, sasabihin, ‘ka-classmate kasi ‘yan nung college,’ o kaya ‘ninong kasi ‘yan nung anak nung lawyer’ (Sometimes, to a certain extent, people will say: ‘They’re classmates in college’ or ‘he is a godfather to the lawyer’s child’). So, madaming mga reason kung bakit pinapa-inhibit (A lot of reasons can be used to petition (a judge) to inhibit),” Garcia noted.

 Pero ‘yung pagiging partial, ‘yung pagiging bias, that’s the least ground that you can use. Kasi parang napaka-personal kasi noon. So meaning, kung ako ‘yun, ‘yung parang bias lang, perception of bias, mukhang hindi tamang ground for inhibition, (But being partial or biased, that is the least ground that you can use because it’ll appear very personal. So meaning, if I were in his shoes, if they use only perception of bias, I think that is inappropriate ground for inhibition),” he added.

As of this writing, Carpio has yet to respond on the issue. – with details from Harlene Delgado.

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