Pulis ba kayo? Guanzon says MMDA can’t impose curfew

Commission on Elections Commission Rowena Guanzon said the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has no power to impose a curfew to curtail curfew hours to curtail “non-essential” travel while Metro Manila residents were under quarantine.

“MMDA cannot impose curfew ! MMDA v. Viron (GR No. 170656) – MMDA has no police power. All its functions are administrative in nature,” said Guanzon on Twitter.

In the 2007 decision penned by then Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales, the Supreme Court said “the MMDA cannot order the closure of respondents’ terminals not only because no authority to implement the Project has been granted nor legislative or police power been delegated to it, but also because the elimination of the terminals does not satisfy the standards of a valid police power measure.”

She defined police power as ” the plenary power vested in the legislature to make, ordain, and establish wholesome and reasonable laws, statutes and ordinances, not repugnant to the Constitution, for the good and welfare of the people”

“While police power rests primarily with the legislature, such power may be delegated, as it is in fact increasingly being delegated. By virtue of a valid delegation, the power may be exercised by the President and administrative boards as well as by the lawmaking bodies of municipal corporations or local governments under an express delegation by the Local Government Code of 1991,” she added.

MMDA announced Saturday, 14 March 2020, that Metro Manila would be placed under curfew from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. from March 15 to April 14.

MMDA general manager Jojo later clarified that the curfew would be imposed next week or until all mayors have approved their respective ordinances.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said exemptions would be granted beyond curfew hours “if you are going to work, seek medical attention, buying essential goods and doing official function like government officials.”

MMDA general manager Jojo Garcia said all Metro Manila mayors have unanimously agreed on the implementation of a curfew which would be used as legal basis for the curfew.

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