Youth group asks SC to reverse ruling upholding curfew in QC 

A YOUTH group on Monday requested the Supreme Court (SC) to reverse its August 8 ruling upholding the curfew ordinance in Quezon City.  
 
In a motion for reconsideration, Samahan Ng Progresibong Kabataan (Spark) said that the SC justices may have overlooked and misappreciated their earlier arguments stressing the unconstitutionality of the ordinance in Quezon City as it is violative of the constitutional rights of the youth.
 
The SC on August 8 partially granted the petition filed by Spark and declared unconstitutional the curfew ordinances in Manila and Navotas. It also upheld the legality of the curfew ordinance in Quezon City.
 
The SC in its decision said that after a thorough evaluation of the provisions of the ordinances it found that only the Quezon City ordinance is constitutional as the Manila and Navotas ordinances run the risk of overly restricting the minors' fundamental freedoms.
 
Spark maintains that the Quezon City curfew ordinance, closely similar to that of Manila and Navotas, encourages arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement and infringes on the rights of minors as well as their parents.
 
The group pointed out that the SC may have adversely committed judicial legislation in its decision when it misinterpreted Section 4(a) of the Quezon City ordinance, which exempts minors given permission by parents to loiter beyond the curfew hours as one and the same with minors being accompanied by parents or guardians, which the ordinance particularly specified.
 
Such interpretation of the provision, "may render the ordinance either tokenistic and toothless or worse, enable arbitrary enforcement," said the group.
 
"If parental permission is an exception under the Quezon City Ordinance, it begs the question of enforcement in terms of how law enforcers will determine if there was parental permission indeed given," the group said.
 
The group's spokesperson Joanne Lim said that it is time to seek the Court's intervention on the issue as young people are now becoming victims of summary killings.
 
Just recently, teenage deaths, including that of Kian Loyd Delos Santos, Carl Angelo Arnaiz, and Reynaldo de Guzman sparked public outrage, with the Senate filing a resolution to probe the killings perpetrated by the police.
 
"Our decision to seek reconsideration from the high court could not be more timelier as civil liberties are threatened and rights advocates slandered, worse, law-abiding minors are wantonly being targeted by police forces," Joanne Lim, Spark spokesperson, said.
 
"Curfews and other draconian measures of this administration will only promote abuse and impunity. The youth must not falter as the dark clouds of tyranny hover above us," Lim said. (SunStar Philippines)
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