De Lima lauds petitioner De Leon’s CA victory vs Mandaluyong Cityordinance on male backriders

De Lima lauds petitioner De Leon’s CA victory vs Mandaluyong City
ordinance on male backriders

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima commended Atty. Dino de
Leon for winning the petition against Mandaluyong City’s ordinances
barring males from being back riders of motorcycles.

De Lima, social justice and human rights champion, made the
statement after the Court of Appeals (CA) struck down as
unconstitutional three ordinances approved by the Mandaluyong
government prohibiting male back riders.

“I laud Atty. De Leon for this victory, which is not just his own win
but also a win for all riders unjustly deprived of their rights on the
road,” she said.

“Atty. De Leon’s effort to challenge unconstitutional ordinances that
discriminate against gender through his petition only shows how
pushback by individual citizens work. Patunay lamang ito na dapat
labanan ang mga polisiyang walang basehan at hindi makatarungan,” she
added.

In a 27-page decision dated Sept. 28 but only released to media
recently, the CA ’s Fifth Division ruled that there is no legal
distinction between a male and a female back rider in addressing crimes
perpetrated by persons on motorcycles.

The ordinances, reportedly slammed as sexist by riders and passengers,
prohibit males from back-riding on a motorcycle, except if the driver
is their first-degree family member or if they are seven to ten years
old. The idea behind the ordinance is to reduce crimes perpetrated by
“riding-in-tandems.”

It may be recalled that De Leon, who is also De Lima’s spokesperson
and one of his legal counsels, was on an Angkas commute last March 7,
2019, when they were apprehended, fined, and then sued criminally
under the ordinance.

De Leon eventually asked the Mandaluyong RTC Branch 59, where the
complaint against him was filed, to declare the ordinance
unconstitutional.

Branch 59 junked the petition in July 2020, finding that the city
government did not commit grave abuse of discretion. The CA, acting on
appeal, disagreed with the lower court, saying the ordinance “is an
oppressive measure that goes beyond what is reasonably necessary for
the accomplishment of the purpose.”

The lady Senator from Bicol maintained that singling out a specific
gender to mask the government’s inability to prevent crimes on the
road is downright reckless and discriminatory.

“Bringing down criminality should focus on well-rounded solutions and
not on discriminatory and arbitrary measures,” she maintained.

In 2019, De Lima filed proposed Senate Resolution (SR) No. 469 urging
her colleagues to revisit Republic Act (RA) 11235, or the Motorcycle
Crime Prevention Law, to prevent its adverse impact on the millions of
law-abiding riders and motorcycle owners, especially amid the COVID-19
pandemic. (AI/MTVN)

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