Retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban believes the tribunal made the right decision when it temporarily stopped the implementation of the no-contact apprehension policy in Metro Manila.
In his September 5 column for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Panganiban said the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Supreme Court was “legally correct” because NCAP violated the alleged violators’ right to due process, violates their right to privacy and is “oppressive and unfair.”
Petitioners argued that NCAP, which was implemented in the cities of Manila, Quezon City, Valenzuela, Parañaque, and Muntinlupa, should be stopped because of supposed loopholes in its implementation, such as penalizing the vehicle’s owner instead of the driver, and the absence of time for the alleged violator to contest the violation before being penalized.
In addition, personal details of the alleged violators can easily be checked on the NCAP website of the local government unit concerned, which petitioners say is a violation of the Data Privacy Act.
“Well-settled in jurisprudence is the rule that when violations of constitutional rights are seriously alleged under oath—violations that, on their face, appear to be truthful and valid—courts are granted sound discretion to stop the continued transgressions immediately particularly if such stoppage will not cause,” Panganiban said.
While the former Chief Justice lauded the good intentions behind NCAP, he said its implementation should be done legally.
“Autocratic shortcuts done in violation of basic rights are abhorred in democratic societies, for as the adage goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions,” Panganiban said.