Supreme Court requests Department of Transportation response to PISTON-led petition against PUVMP

The Supreme Court has instructed the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to provide a response to the petition filed by the progressive transport group Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON). The petition challenges the constitutionality of the public utility vehicle modernization program (PUVMP).

This directive comes after the Supreme Court’s en banc session resumed on Tuesday following the conclusion of the decision-writing period on May 10. The requirement for the DOTr to issue a comment is a standard part of the Supreme Court’s procedures for handling cases or petitions.

Additionally, the Supreme Court has also mandated the DOTr to comment on the transport groups’ request for a temporary restraining order (TRO) aimed at pausing the implementation of the memorandum circulars associated with the PUVMP.

Transport groups PISTON and MANIBELA returned to the Supreme Court on Tuesday to seek a TRO before the 15-day grace period given by the DOTr to unconsolidated jeepney drivers comes to an end. The groups have previously sought a TRO against the PUVMP in supplemental petitions.

While the Supreme Court has not yet issued a TRO against the program, which could potentially halt its implementation, SC spokesperson Camille Ting clarified that the court’s decision to require a response from the DOTr regarding the TRO request does not indicate a denial of the petition.

Ting explained, “The Supreme Court’s requirement for the Respondent to comment on the prayer for TRO and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction does not mean that the prayer for TRO and/or WPI was denied.”

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