Valenzuela court issues TRO to two transport groups
A Valenzuela City regional trial court has granted the local government’s petition to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) against members of two transport groups who staged an illegal strike on September 16.
In a decision dated September 27, Judge Emma Matammu of the Valenzuela City Regional Trial Court Branch 270 said that the TRO against the Malolos Jeepney Owners and Drivers Association (Maljoda) and Malanday, Malinta and Balubaran Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association was necessary in order to “prevent undue prejudice to the commuting public and consequential damages to the city government.”
The TRO directed the groups’ members from participating in any transport strike for 20 days from the date of the order’s issuance.
Mayor Rex Gatchalian, who represented the city government in the petition for a TRO and writ of preliminary injunction filed on Sept. 24, said the transport groups went on strike without a permit, in violation of the conditions in the certificates of public convenience granted to them.
During Friday’s hearing, the defendants did not appear in court with a legal counsel and instead authorized Maljoda member Perfecto Josue Jr. to represent them.
Josue, according to the decision, admitted that their groups led an “unannounced” transport strike to air their grievances over the city government’s No Contact Apprehension Policy (NCAP). He stressed, however, that they were just exercising their right to hold peaceful assemblies.
Under the policy which took effect on Sept. 16, closed-circuit television cameras and other gadgets would be used to catch errant motorists.
But Gatchalian said that the protesters should take the matter to court if they felt that NCAP was illegal.