CA sets aside drug test requirement for license renewal
The Court of Appeals (CA) has upheld the Land Transporation Office (LTO) order lifting the drug test requirement for the renewal of driver’s licenses.
In a recent decision, the CA 19th Division set aside the Toledo City Regional Trial Court (RTC) ruling that halted the enforcement of then-LTO chief Virginia Torres’s June 27, 2013 memorandum implementing the provisions of Republic Act (RA) Number 10586.
The said law, known as the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013, repealed the mandatory drug test requirement of Section 36(a) of RA 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The CA said the October 9, 2013 injunction issued by the Toledo City RTC Branch 59 Judge Hermes Montero—which reimposed the repealed drug test requirement—”has no legal effect.”
It said the RTC could no longer compel the LTO to enforce the drug law’s drug test provision because it” has been expressly repealed” by the drunk driving law.
The drug test requirement “ceases to exist and becomes inoperative from the moment the repealing law becomes effective,” the CA said.
“To our mind, the RTC gravely abused it’s discretion when it issued the writ of preliminary injunction, and thereafter made it permanent, based on a provision of law that had already been expressly repealed,” read the decision penned by Associate Justice Louis Acosta.
“Because the assailed RTC orders were issued with grave abuse of discretion and are therefore void, all acts emanating from them have no force or effect,” it added.
The case arose from Toledo City resident Dulcisimo Tuldanes’s petition against the LTO issuance, which the RTC granted.