SC junks petitions vs provincial bus ban along EDSA
On July 31, 2019, a Quezon City court suspended the implementation of the controversial policy of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority banning provincial buses along EDSA.
The STAR/Russell Palma, File photo
SC junks petitions vs provincial bus ban along EDSA
Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - January 3, 2020 - 5:44pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has junked the petitions challenging the Metro Manila Development Authority’s regulation to ban buses along EDSA for violating the hierarchy of courts.

In a notice of resolution released Friday, the SC dismissed the three petitions filed last year asking the tribual to declare MMDA Regulation No. 19-002 as null and void. The directive prohibits or revokes the business permits of public utility bus terminals and operators along the metro’s main thoroughfare.

Three petition for certioraris where filed by the following:

  • AKO Bicol party-list chairperson Aderma Angelie Alcazar and then its incumbent representative at the House, Ronald Ang and Alfredo Garbin Jr.
  • Rep. Joey Salceda (Albay)
  • Makabayan bloc

The petitioners argued that the Metro Manila Council approved the policy proposal of the MMDA without public consultations or hearings. AKO Bicol party-list pointed out that the regulation was issued “solely on the basis of the verbal directive.”

The Makabayan bloc also echoed the other petitioners’ argument that the MMDA exceeded its issuance of the bus band policy because jurisprudence states that it does not possess legislative or police power.

“Considering that MMDA is not equipped with police and legislative powers, verily it violates the due process rights not just of the affected buses but also the affected public,” their petition read.

Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 223, on a ruling dated July 31, 2019, issued a writ of preliminary injunction stopping the provincial bus ban.

Court: Factual issues raised

The SC dismissed their petitions for violating the doctrine of hierarchy of courts. It noted that the issuance of writ of certiorari is a power not exclusive to the high court, but also with Regional Trial Courts and Court of Appeals as well.

“As jurisprudence now stands, direct resort to this Court through a certiorari petition can only be obtained in cases raising strictly legal questions,” the SC said.

The tribunal also pointed out that the petitioners questioned the manner how the assailed regulation was approved “which necessitates presentation of evidence on the procedure undertaken by the MMDA.”

The petitioners also questioned whether the bus ban eases traffic congestion which is a factual issue as it would require statistics or verified data.

“These factual questions require reception of evidence and/or hearing which must be relegated to the Court of Appeals or to the proper trial court,” the SC said.

It stressed: “Verily, this Court is not a trier of facts, more so in the consideration of the extraordinary writ of certiorari where neither questions of fact nor law are entertained, but only questions of lack or excess of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion.”

BUS BAN EDSA SUPREME COURT
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