CDO councilor, ex-village councilman seek TRO against motorcycle barriers for back riding

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 9) — A city councilor and a former barangay councilman in Cagayan de Oro City have asked a local court for a temporary restraining order against the implementation of the motorcycle back-riding policy requiring the installation of protective barriers.

City councilor Reuben Daba and former Barangay 16 councilman Walter Kiunisala filed the petition on Friday, August 7 to protest the insistence of the Inter-Agency Task Force to push through with the measure, which they deem unsafe and an extra burden.

According to Atty. James Judith, the petitioners’ counsel, a favorable judgment could stop the implementation of the policy in Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental, or even across the country.

The petition is now with Judge Jeoffre Acebido of Regional Trial Court Branch 41.

Kiunisala said the installation of motorcycle barriers is an additional burden, adding that a full-face helmet and a face mask are enough to protect riders from the virus.

“Putting up barriers would be awkward and dangerous for us while driving,” he said in his native language. “And I can't understand why it is needed for couples who share the same bed at home.”

Daba said he hoped that the IATF will take into consideration the appeal of local governments and various groups opposing the policy.

A group of medical frontliners had earlier hit the task force for the mandatory measure, calling it “unnecessary,” especially for couples already living together.

CNN Philippines stringer Alwen Saliring contributed to this report.