- A youth group has urged the Supreme Court to declare the curfew ordinances in three Metro Cities unconstitutional
- The group described the curfew ordinances as both vague and broad because it can result to arbitrary enforcement
- Named respondents are the mayors of Quezon City, Manila and Navotas City
A group of students and residents calling themselves Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan or SPARK has urged the Supreme Court to declare the curfew ordinances in the cities of Manila, Quezon City and Navotas unconstitutional.
In a 39-page petition filed before the Supreme Court on Friday, July 22, the group asked the high court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) against these ordinances in the respective cities.
The group said the ordinances on curfew are both vague and broad because it can result in arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement, as well as impair legitimate activities of minors, thus depriving them of the right to liberty and to travel without due process.
At the same time, it also deprive parents of “the natural and primary right in the rearing of the youth without substantive due process”, the petition read.
Two of the petitioners claimed they were apprehended by authorities in their cities during curfew hours despite being of legal age.
“Some young adults look like they are below 18 years old or what could be called as baby-faced. Some of them will be tagged as violators while some of them will not be,” said the petition.
“The arbitrary application and enforcement of the curfew ordinances are inevitable given that law enforcers only conduct a visual inspection of alleged minors violating the curfew. The determination of the age of the alleged curfew violators will be subjective depending on the law enforcer’s assessment of a person’s face and body physique,” it added.
Spark spokesperson Joanne Lim said they are filing the petition in behalf of the all young citizens whose right to be contributing members of the society are threatened by undue punishment and possible instances of abuses from authorities.
“We are also crying foul on the unjust detention of the youth’s parents if their children are apprehended during curfew hours,” Lim added.
Named respondents in the petition are Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, Manila City Mayor Joseph Estrada and Navotas City Mayor John Rey Tiangco.