The petitioners further assert that drivers or vehicle owners affected by Ordinance No. 1664 like themselves were not accorded the opportunity to protest the clamping, towing, and impounding of the vehicles, or even to be heard and to explain their side prior to the immobilization of their vehicles; and that the ordinance was oppressive and arbitrary for that reason.
The adverse assertions against Ordinance No. 1664 are unwarranted.
Firstly, Ordinance No. 1664 was far from oppressive and arbitrary. Any driver or vehicle owner whose vehicle was immobilized by clamping could protest such action of a traffic enforcer or PNP personnel enforcing the ordinance. Section 3 of Ordinance No. 1664, supra, textually afforded an administrative escape in the form of permitting the release of the immobilized vehicle upon a protest directly made to the Chairman of CITOM; or to the Chairman of the Committee on Police, Fire and Penology of the City of Cebu; or to Asst. City Prosecutor Felipe Belciña – officials named in the ordinance itself. The release could be ordered by any of such officials even without the payment of the stipulated fine. That none of the petitioners, albeit lawyers all, resorted to such recourse did not diminish the fairness and reasonableness of the escape clause written in the ordinance. Secondly, the immobilization of a vehicle by clamping pursuant to the ordinance was not necessary if the driver or vehicle owner was around at the time of the apprehension for illegal parking or obstruction. In that situation, the enforcer would simply either require the driver to move the vehicle or issue a traffic citation should the latter persist in his violation. The clamping would happen only to prevent the transgressor from using the vehicle itself to escape the due sanctions. And, lastly, the towing away of the immobilized vehicle was not equivalent to a summary impounding, but designed to prevent the immobilized vehicle from obstructing traffic in the vicinity of the apprehension and thereby ensure the smooth flow of traffic. The owner of the towed vehicle would not be deprived of his property.
In fine, the circumstances set forth herein indicate that Ordinance No. 1664 complied with the elements of fairness and reasonableness.