The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday stopped three cities from implementing ordinances on curfew.
During en banc deliberations, the SC justices issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) stopping the enforcement of curfew in the cities of Manila, Quezon and Navotas.
“The Court, acting on the petition for certiorari and prohibition with application for a temporary restraining order challenging the ‘curfew ordinances’ of the three local government units as ultra vires for being contrary to RA 9344 (Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act), issued a Temporary Restraining Order effective immediately and until further orders Enjoining the three local government units from implementing and enforcing the Curfew Ordinances,” the ruling said.
The three local government units were required by the high court to answer the petition within 10 days from notice.
In its petition, the Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK). together with its counsel, Jesus Falcis 3rd, questioned the implementation of the ordinances.
The group said implementing a curfew is unconstitutional because it goes against Republic Act No. 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act. It said the questioned ordinances deprives minors of the right to liberty and the right to travel. It also deprives parents of their natural and primary right in rearing their children.
They cited Quezon City Ordinance No. 2301 of 2014 which stipulates that “the parent or guardian of the curfew violator will be penalized for allowing the minor to go out during this period, either ‘knowingly or by insufficient control.’”
The ordinance decrees 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.”
The group mentioned the experience of Clarissa Villegas, a minor, whose classes at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila end at 9 p.m. Villegas was almost apprehended because her travel daily from her school in Manila to her home in Quezon City takes almost two hours.