The Quezon City Regional Trial Court has denied the petition filed by Justitia Lex Machina (JLM) for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the implementation of Republic Act 11235, or the ‘doble plaka’ law. Judge Luisito Cortez penned the decision on August 12, 2020
JLM is made up of some 40 big bike riders who are also law practitioners. The named respondents in the petition were Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief Edgar Galvante, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, and Department of Transportation secretary Arthur Tugade.
The court ruled that a TRO is not necessary at this time after Galvante suspended the implementation of the plate provisions in the law because of the unavailability of motorcycle license plates and decals.
“There being no urgency and the paramount necessity to issue the injunctive relief to prevent any serious damage to herein petitioners, the application for TRO must necessarily fail,” says Cortez.
JLM, led by the group’s representative Atty. Gally Angeles and legal counsel Atty. Rolly Abing, was told to move by Judge Cortez and prepare for the series of next hearings.
“Nag-hearing na lang kami sa main case, the nullification of the law. It’s the turn of the OSG (Office of the Solicitor General) to present evidence,” Abing related. JLM wants the law nullified not just because of the safety issues surrounding the installation of front metal plates, but also the potential hefty penalties and jail term that await violators.
A month after Cortez issued the decision to junk JLM’s petition for TRO, the LTO-National Capital Region West Regional Office started distributing some 70,000 new rear plates for registered riders. The front number decals are not available as of this writing, and the agency’s officials have yet to issue a definite schedule on when this controversial fixture will be up for distribution to the country’s 18 million motorcycle owners.
The OSG lawyers are next scheduled to present their witnesses on September 24 and October 22 via a Zoom conference.