By Emmie Abadilla
A Mandaluyong City Regional Trial Court (RTC) denied the petition of transport network company Angkas for another temporary restraining order (TRO) on a permanent injunction meant to keep the government from implementing its revised motorcycle taxi guidelines.
The Mandaluyong City RTC Branch 212 dismissed Angkas’ petition versus the Department of Transportation (DOTr) the Land Transport Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for lack of merit in a four-page order dated Jan. 10, 2020.
“Since the Petitioner’s application for issuance of injunctive writ involves prayer to enjoin the enforcement of Section 10 of Revised General Guidelines for the Pilot Implementation of Motorcycle Taxis, which is also the same action being sought in the main case of injunction, the court is mindful that as much as possible avoid issuing writ which would effectively dispose of the main case without trial and/or due process,” according to the order.
Section 10 of the of Revised General Guidelines for the Pilot Implementation of Motorcycle Taxis states that a total of 30,000 riders for Metro Manila and 9,000 riders for Metro Cebu shall form part of the pilot implementation of motorcycle taxis, wherein the number of riders will be divided evenly among qualified Ride Hailing Platform Providers.
As such, under the revised guidelines, which took effect on Jan. 6, 2020, the number of Angkas accredited riders was slashed from 27,000 to 10,000 to accommodate the entry of riders from Move-It and Joy Ride. Under the revised guidelines, each of the three motorcycle taxi providers are entitled to have 10,000 riders each.
The court also ruled that the respondents in the petition, the DOTr and the LTFRB, have in their favor, the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duties, which Angkas had failed to rebut by way of convincing evidence.
“The presumption of regularity of official acts may be rebutted by affirmative evidence or irregularity or failure to perform a duty. The presumption, however, prevails until it is overcome by no less than clear and convincing evidence to the contrary. Thus, unless the presumption is rebutted, it becomes conclusive,” the court said in its order.
It would be recalled that Angkas filed a Petition for Injunction with application for the issuance of a 72-hour TRO to stop the DOTr and the LTFRB from implementing the Revised General Guidelines for the Pilot Implementation of Motorcycle Taxis, arguing that it puts a cap on the number of riders that Angkas is entitled to.
After the lapse of the 72-hour TRO and after the conduct of a hearing, Angkas also sought that the writ of preliminary injunction against the implementation of the Revised General Guidelines for the Pilot Implementation of Motorcycle Taxis, be made permanent.
On Jan. 6, 2020, the Vice Executive Judge of the Mandaluyong City RTC, granted the issuance of a 72-hour TRO with Angkas posting a P300,000 bond.
After the lapse of the 72-hour TRO, Angkas’ petition was re-raffled to the Mandaluyong City RTC Branch 212. The court then set the instant case for hearing on Jan. 9, 2020.