By Alexandria Dennise San Juan
The Quezon City Council is urging the Supreme Court to designate a special court in all cities and municipalities to handle cases of violation of local ordinances in a bid to swiftly resolve local cases and help in decongesting municipal and regional trial courts.
Based on the City Resolution 7601-2018 introduced by Councilors Gian Sotto and Godofredo Liban II, infractions of city or municipal ordinances is a “perennial occurrence in barangays that contribute to the heavy workload of trial courts.”
According to the city council, the lack of special courts that exclusively handle, hear, and decide all cases of violations of City or Municipal Ordinances unduly forces longer imprisonment of suspects.
“Inordinate delay in the resolution of cases involving infraction of city or municipal ordinances causes the clogging of detention cells, vulnerability of inmates to illnesses, and injustices for languishing in jail more than the penalty to be imposed on them,” the resolution stated.
Under Republic Act No. 7160, or the Local Government Code, cities and municipalities may impose minimal fine and a shorter period of imprisonment on ordinance violations.
A municipal ordinance offender may be fined up to P2,500 or imprisoned of up to six months while a city ordinance may be fined up to P5,000 pesos or imprisoned of up to a year.