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Court rejects move to block cap on Angkas bikers

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By Arjay L. Balinbin, Reporter

A MANDALUYONG court has denied the petition of the bikers of ride-hailing platform Angkas for another temporary restraining order (TRO) against the government’s new policy on motorcycle taxis.

In an order dated Jan. 10, the Mandaluyong City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 212 said the petitioner’s application against the enforcement of Section 10 of the Revised General Guidelines for the Pilot Implementation of Motorcycle Taxis “is also the same action being sought in the main case of injunction.”

Section 10 limits the participating riders in the pilot program to 30,000 for Metro Manila and 9,000 for Metro Cebu. The number of riders is to be divided evenly among qualified ride-hailing platform providers.

The order, signed by Judge Rizalina T. Capco-Umali, said “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.”

On Jan. 6, the bikers of Angkas (DBDOYC, Inc.) filed a petition for a 72-hour TRO, regular TRO and/or writ of preliminary injunction against the implementation by respondents Department of Transportation and Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board of the new motorcycle pilot program policy that puts a cap on the number of bikers.

The petition for a TRO also seeks to restrain the respondents from “apprehending any Angkas rider” and from “performing any act that limits and impairs their rights to deal with and continue with their contracts with Angkas.”

“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 also said in its order.

This development comes after the Angkas bikers secured a 72-hour hold order from a Mandaluyong court blocking the same policy. The order was signed by Mandaluyong City RTC Vice/Acting Executive Judge Ofelia L. Calo on Jan. 6.

On Jan. 9, the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 223 issued a 20-day TRO against the policy. The petition for the TRO was filed by Angkas itself, which also asked the court to exclude JoyRide (We Move Things Philippines, Inc.) and Move It (We-Load Transcargo Corp.) from the pilot program for motorcycle taxis that is being implemented by the government’s technical working group (TWG).

The court, however, did not grant the company’s petition to restrain the respondents from allowing the inclusion of JoyRide and Move It in the pilot program.

“When the acts sought to be prevented by injunction or prohibition have already been performed or completed prior to the filing of the injunction suit, nothing more can be enjoined or restrained; a writ of injunction then becomes moot and academic, and the court, by mere issuance of the writ, can no longer stop or undo the act,” the court said in its order dated Jan. 9, as signed by Judge Catherine P. Manodon.

On Angkas’ petition for a TRO against the implementation of the TWG’s new guidelines that limit the number of bikers during the pilot test, the Quezon City court “finds that irreparable injury would be suffered by the plaintiff” if the implementation of the policy “is not restrained before the matter of the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction is heard.”

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