Drug test still partin license issuance
CEBU, Philippines — Those who want to apply for a driver’s license or renew their existing license in Central Visayas are still required to take a drug test, the only region in the country to be doing so.
This despite the reversal by the Court of Appeals of the decision of the Regional Trial Court in Toledo City maintaining the mandatory drug test for driver’s license applicants at the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
LTO Cebu City Chief Joel Maloloy-on yesterday said they have not received yet any directive from their central office to implement the law revoking the requirement of mandatory drug testing for the issuance or renewal of driver’s license.
“Kita nalang sa Region 7. Nagsige gyud mi og follow-up ana sa among central office kay kinahanglan man ta og implementing rules. Ang central office ang mo-direct sa regional office to comply (with) the order,” said Maloloy-on during the Kapihan sa Ampersand at Banilad Town Center yesterday.
The CA earlier ruled that a drug test is no longer required when one applies for or renews a driver’s license after it reversed and set aside the decision of the RTC.
The case stemmed from the petition filed by a certain Dulcisimo Tuldanes before the RTC in Toledo City seeking a declaration of nullity of a memorandum dated June 27, 2013 issued by former Department of Transportation and Communication Assistant Secretary Virginia Torres, in her capacity as LTO chief, implementing Republic Act No. 10586.
RA 10586 or the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013 repeals Section 36 (a) of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
“Kinahanglan ma-resolve una ang kaso kung wagtangon or ipadayon ba ang drug test,” Maloloy-on said.
The case was reportedly elevated by the aggrieved party to the Supreme Court which constrained the LTO to wait for the resolution of the issue and not to implement the CA decision in the meantime.
The RTC earlier enjoined the LTO and the DOTC to comply with the mandatory drug testing, a requirement under Section 36 (a) of Republic Act 9165.
But in his decision, CA Associate Justice Louis Acosta stated that “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. The writ of preliminary injunction issued in favor of private respondents, which eventually became permanent in the assailed decision, has no legal effect.”
The LTO, represented by former assistant secretary Alfonso Tan Jr., filed a petition for review before the CA.
Tan claimed that Toledo City RTC Judge Hermes Montero acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when the latter granted Tuldanes’ prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction.
Montero granted Tuldanes’ petition on October 9, 2013 and issued an injunction, thus the drug test was restored until present. GAN (FREEMAN)