The Court of Appeals has declared as “unconstitutional” an ordinance by the Mandaluyong City government that prohibits male backriding.
In a decision penned by associate justice Raymond Reynold Lauigan and concurred by associate justices Pablito Perez and Ramon Bato, the CA Fifth Division also bars the local government unit from implementing City Ordinance Nos. 550 S-2014, 595 S-2015, and 694 S-2018.
“It does not rest on substantial distinction bearing a just and fair relation to the purpose of the ordinance,” the appellate court explained.
The issue stemmed from a complaint filed by Dino de Leon before the Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 59 in July 2019 after he, along with his Angkas rider, was slapped with a traffic citation ticket for violating the city regulation some months earlier.
The city ordinance is aimed at preventing motorcycles from being used in criminal activities. It only allows male backriding if the pillion rider is a first-degree family member or is seven to 10 years old.
However, Branch 59 dismissed De Leon’s petition in July 2020 for lack of merit. This prompted him to take the case to the Court of Appeals, which recently declared it as an “oppressive measure.”
“The assailed decision dated 03 July 2020 and Resolution dated 14 October 2020 of the Regional Trial Court of Mandaluyong City, Branch 212, in Case No. R-MND-19-01686-SC are reversed and set aside,” the appellate court said.
Meanwhile, George Royeca, chief transport advocate of ride-hailing motorcycle taxi Angkas, commended the court ruling and at the same time, expressed gratitude to De Leon for his efforts to protect the interest of the riding public.
Another motorcycle organization, the Kapatiran sa Dalawang Gulong (Kagulong), issued a statement with regard to the issue:
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