Court of Appeals: Motorcycles with sidecars banned on expressways
MANILA, Philippines – The Court of Appeals (CA) has affirmed the ruling of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City banning motorcycles with sidecars on expressways.
The CA’s Special 12th Division junked the petition filed by Motorbelle Corporation and its officers in a 13-page decision penned by Associate Justice Rafael Antonio Santos.
Motorbelle sought a declaration that Department of Transportation and Communications Order No. 2007-38 covers motorcycles with or without sidecars.
The order provides that “only motorcycles with an engine displacement of at least 400 cubic centimeters shall be allowed to operate within the limited access facilities” or expressways.
The petitioners said they sought the declaration to prevent confusion among motorists and traffic enforcers over the order.
Motorbelle is the exclusive Philippine distributor of Ural Motorcycles with sidecars and engine displacement of 750 cubic centimeters (cc).
The company's officers said a court clarification was important as buyers would often ask whether their units are allowed on expressways. They added that confusion over the order has affected Motorbelle sales.
The Makati RTC had ruled that DO 2007-38 only refered to motorcycles without sidecars, and that the petitioners have no legal standing to file the petition since none of them, at the time of the filing, were registered owners and/or dealer of motorcycles with sidecars, as required by the Land Transportation Office (LTO)
The trial court also said the appellants should have first raised their concerns before the transportation department.
In its ruling, the CA agreed that the appellants failed to show the “existence of justiciable” controversy as none of the Ural motorcycles were LTO-registered for legal use in the country.
“Petitioners-appellants’ arguments that the non-registration of Ural motorcycles with the LTO is irrelevant, is also unavailing. A closer reading of DO No. 2007-38 would show that it covers only those motorcycles who complied with the licensing requirements of LTO,” the CA said.
The appellate court said the registration of Ural motorcycles with the LTO would have shown that there was a violation of the petitioners' rights with the issuance of DO 2007-38.
“Otherwise, if none of the Ural Motorcycles are registered or none of petitioners-appellants registered owners of the same, the DO No. 2007-38 will not apply to them and they cannot claim that they sustained or are in immediate danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result of the issuance of D.O. No. 2007-38,” the CA said.
Associate Justices Apolinario Bruselas Jr, and Germano Francisco Legaspi concurred with the ruling. – Rappler.com
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