The Department of Justice has issued a legal opinion that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has no power to apprehend, impound and dispose of colorum vehicles.
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said “it is the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Traffic Management Unit of the Philippine National Police (PNP) which are authorized to enforce traffic rules and regulations.”
“We advise that LTFRB has no power to apprehend, impound and dispose of colorum vehicles. Its authority extends only in coordination with other government agencies in the apprehension, impounding and disposal of such vehicles,” Remulla said.
The legal opinion was sought by former Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade in a letter dated March 24.
Remulla said Tugade wanted to respond to the letters of the Liga ng Transportasyon at Operators sa Pilipinas (LTOP) and the National Federation of Transport Cooperatives (NFTC) that questioned DOTr’s position that LTFRB has the power to apprehend and impound colorum vehicles.
The Justice Secretary said the functions and powers of the LTFRB are already enumerated in Section 5 of Executive Order (EO) No. 202.
“The law does not contain any express provision which authorizes LTFRB to apprehend, impound and dispose of colorum vehicles,” he said.
“If there was no express grant of authority to apprehend, impound and dispose of colorum vehicles, could such power be inferred from other provisions of E.O. No. 202? The answer to this is in the negative,” the Secretary added.
Contrary to the position of the DoTr, Remulla said the LTFRB also cannot use Joint Administrative Order (JAO) No. 4014-01 as affirmation of its enforcement power.
“With respect to the position that the power to apprehend/impound colorum vehicles may be inferred from JAO No. 2014-01, we reiterate that without any provision of law granting such power to LTFRB, it has no authority to exercise such powers. Administrative issuances must be in harmony with the law upon which such issuances are based,” he said.