Lawyer calls for action against Bacolod clamping ordinance

A city traffic enforcement unit member oversees clamped motorbikes, reportedly belonging to university students during exams. (Photo from Agnes Lira Jundos’ Facebook page).

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD CITY – The president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Negros Occidental chapter is inviting complaints about the city’s clamping and towing ordinance to step forward, offering support in legal proceedings.

Lawyer Gerry Llena informed Daily Guardian that preparations are underway to build cases against concerned city government officials.

He revealed that at least seven lawyers have fallen prey to what he alleges to be dubious enforcement of the ordinance.

Llena is challenging the Bacolod City government ordinance no. 09-17-818, which outlines guidelines for accrediting private towing companies and procedures for towing, clamping, and impounding within the city.

He expressed concerns over the enforcement tactics, citing a lack of signage and public information dissemination, issues that have been amplified by grievances shared on social media.

“We are encouraging those affected to come out as we are ready to assist with their cases,” he stated.

He emphasized Section 8 of the ordinance, which requires tow-away zones to be clearly marked to alert drivers. It specifies:

– Red paint for absolute tow-away zones (enforced 24/7).

– Yellow paint for regulated tow-away zones (enforced only at certain times and days).

Visible tow-away signages should also be installed, as per the ordinance, to inform the public of these restrictions.

According to Llena, motorists have complained that areas where vehicles were clamped or towed had not been marked with either red or yellow paint.

Following a concert by the popular band Ben & Ben, which concluded around midnight in the city’s northern nightlife district, attendees were surprised to find their vehicles clamped in an unmarked area.

Additionally, an online post depicted motorcycles parked outside a university being clamped, presumably belonging to students during an examination period.