Solon eyes swift NCAP probe

Surigao del Norte Representative Robert Ace Barbers is pushing for a swift and thorough investigation into the ‘No Contact Apprehension Policy’ (NCAP) amid the Land Transportation Office’s (LTO) decision to deactivate it for now based on its latest reported memorandum.

The lawmaker previously called for the immediate suspension of the NCAP during his privilege speech on Tuesday after receiving a series of complaints from motorists on its implementation.

“The mounting complaints against the NCAP implementation necessitate the review of all contracts and MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) to determine their constitutionality,” Barbers said. “This early, we need to suspend the NCAP implementation and correct its flaws and loopholes.”

“So there would be no or less complaints from motorists in the days to come,” he added.

To recall, LTO chief Teofilo Guadiz III temporarily deactivated on 10 August the NCAP after several public utility vehicle operators complained that they are the ones getting charged for the violations committed by their drivers.

However, a source from the LTO revealed that the LTO chief allegedly recalled the memo, thereby reactivating those deactivated LGU accounts, which allegedly led to confusion on whether the NCAP will be reactivated or not.

Guadiz allegedly neither confirmed nor denied the reports.

Meantime, the Surigao del Norte representative insisted that they haven’t received any latest communications or memo reactivating the NCAP.

“The NCAP system is laudable since the intent is to discipline erring, abusive or wayward drivers. But the implementors, I was told, are imposing excessive fines and could be violating the Constitution since there is no due process of law,” Barbers said.

“And there is no law, ordinance or regulation prohibiting vehicle registration due to non-payment of fines for traffic violations,” he added.

While it may be true that the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) traffic enforcers behind the NCAP are tracking and watching traffic violators via state-of-the-art digital cameras and CCTV, every LGU has a different set of guidelines in the implementation of the policy.

In other developments, there are alleged reports that the LTO has been in the process of bidding for new CL1 laser engravers under Dermalog to repair and maintain the old ones, which is critical in printing the information on the driver’s license cards.

The LTO has approved a total budget of P14,027,319.85 for the spare parts of the CL1 laser engraver, which is exclusively distributed by Dermalog.

There were also alleged reports that the new LTO chief has met with a battery of legal consultants led by former Department of Justice (DoJ) undersecretary Zabedin Azis, who served during the time of former President Benigno Aquino III in 2015 as recommended by former Senator Leila Delima, former LTO regional director Aminola Alex Abaton and Atty. Jerome Christopher Leynes, the husband of LTFRB Board Member Atty. Mercy Jane Paras-Leynes.

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