The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday upheld the legality of the curfew on minors implemented by Quezon City but not those in the city of Manila and Navotas.
During en banc deliberations on Tuesday, the magistrates were unanimous in ruling that the curfew in QC is legal.
The decision was written by Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Benabe.
The SC ruled that Ordinance 2301, Series of 2014 issued by the Quezon City government is constitutional.
However, the high court ruled that Ordinance 8046 issued by the city of Manila and Pambansang Ordinansa 2002-13 by the local government of Navotas are unconstitutional because the two local governments failed to provide the least restrictive means to implement the curfew. It opined that Manila’s ordinance with its penal provisions imposing reprimand, fines and imprisonment is in conflict with Section 57-A of RA 9344 or the Juvenile Delinquency Act.
On the other hand, the court said the ordinance of Quezon City passed legal scrutiny.
The Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK), aided by lawyer Jesus Falcis 3rd, asked the high tribunal to stop the implementation of the ordinances.
“We cannot neglect the rights of the citizens, most specially of the children and youth even if this administration’s primary concern is the pursuit of peace and order,” Falcis said.
The group said the Manila curfew ordinances are unconstitutional because they deprive minors of the right to liberty and travel.
It added that the ordinances also deprive parents of their natural and primary right to rear their children without substantive due process.
The group cited the QC ordinance that penalizes parents or guardians who allow minors to go out during curfew hours either “knowingly or by insufficient control.”
As penalty, the ordinance decreed that “a minor found violating the curfew for the first time will be referred to the nearest barangay hall or police station. The parent or guardian will be fined P2,000 or be required to render community service for 48 hours.”