MANILA, Philippines – The Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed its earlier decision that declared unconstitutional the Mandaluyong City ordinance that banned male backriders in motorcycles.
In a seven-page resolution promulgated on April 26 but publicized on Thursday, May 18, the CA’s former Fifth Division denied the motion for reconsideration filed by Mandaluyong City against the appellate court’s earlier decision.
“Wherefore, premises considered, the respondent-appellee City of Mandaluyong’s motion for reconsideration is hereby denied for lack of merit,” read the resolution penned by Associate Justice Raymond Reynold Lauigan, with concurrences from associate justices Ramon Bato Jr. and Pablito Perez.
In October 2021, the appellate court declared the ordinance unconstitutional, saying there was no legal distinction between male and female backriders in relation to addressing crimes by the so-called “riding-in-tandems.”
Before the court rulings, Mandaluyong City had banned males from backriding on motorcycles unless the driver was their first-degree family member. Another exemption was if the male individual was between 7 to 10 years old.
Public interest lawyer Dino de Leon challenged the ordinance before the court in July 2019 after he was fined and sued for violating the said ordinance. De Leon asked the Mandaluyong City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 59 to declare the rule unconstitutional.
The lower court junked De Leon’s petition and said the city did not commit grave abuse of discretion. But when the case reached the appellate court, the CA disagreed with the RTC’s ruling and said the rule “is an oppressive measure that goes beyond what is reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose.”
The appellate court added there was “no proof that male backriders are more susceptible to commit crimes as opposed to female backriders.”
In its resolution, the CA said Mandaluyong City’s motion for reconsideration used the same grounds that were a “rehash of matters already considered and passed upon” by the CA.
On Mandaluyong City’s contention that certiorari was not the proper remedy in the case, the appellate court said it had already dealt with the lower court when it raised that “certiorari and prohibition are appropriate remedies to raise constitutional issues.”
Certiorari is used to seek a review of a lower court’s decision.
“Verily, we are one in the prevention of crimes for the City of Mandaluyong’s peace and order. However, we cannot uphold the constitutionality of the subject ordinances when, among other things, the mechanisms provided therein are beyond what is necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose that respondent-appellee City of Mandaluyong aspires, as already discussed in our assailed decision,” the CA explained. – Rappler.com
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