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QC curfew on minors legal


The Supreme Court (SC) declared valid yesterday the imposition of curfew on children and those below 18 years old from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in Quezon City.

But it declared invalid the similar issuances on curfew impositions in Manila and Navotas.

Quezon City Ordinance No. SP 2301, Series of 2014, imposes curfew on minors and stipulates that the parent or guardian of the curfew violator will be penalized for allowing the minor to go out during this period, either ‘knowingly or by insufficient control.’”

Invalidated by the SC were Ordinance No. 8046 in Manila and Pambansang Ordinansa Blg. 2002-13 in Navotas.

It said that the Manila ordinance imposes reprimand, fines and imprisonment to violators that run counter to the provision of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act, while in Navotas the ordinance fails to provide the least restrictive means to implement the curfew.

At press time, no further details on the ruling were available at the SC after its full court session yesterday.

The petition against curfew in Quezon City, Manila and Navotas was filed by the Samahan ng mga Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK) and named respondents were Mayors Herbert Bautista, Joseph Ejercito Estrada, and John Rey Tiangco.

SPARK said curfew is unconstitutional because it results in arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement as a result of its vagueness; it suffers from overbreadth by impairing legitimate activities of minors during curfew hours; deprives minors of the right to liberty and the right to travel without substantive due process; and deprives parents of the natural and primary right in the rearing of the youth without substantive due process.”

In the City of Manila, the group said the curfew ordinance is invalid for being contrary to Republic Act No. 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act (JJWA) which prohibits the imposition of curfew except if it is for the protection of the child and the child or minor is not punished.