Angkas bikers will now be apprehended with the issuance by the Supreme Court of a temporary restraining order (TRO) that stops a Mandaluyong court from implementing the preliminary injunction it issued to allow the motorcycle ride-hailing services provider to operate.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr), in a Facebook post, urged Angkas operators and bikers to cease operations or risk apprehension.
The TRO, which was issued on December 5 but was received by the DOTr Legal Affairs Office only on December 12, will take effect immediately.
Apprehension of Angkas operators and bikers will start as soon as the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) issues a resolution within the day to pave for the implementation of the Supreme Court order.
Angkas, for its part, said the TRO "comes at a time when hundreds of thousands of commuters need the Angkas service to beat the worsening holiday traffic."
"This TRO also puts the livelihood of 25,000 biker-partners at risk - a few days before Christmas, when their families need it the most," David Medrana, Angkas head of operations, said in a statement.
Medrana said they will "continue our fight to serve commuters in a safe and efficient manner, as well as legitimize our riders."
The TRO stops the implementation of the preliminary injunction granted by Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court Branch 213 Judge Carlos A. Valenzuela to Angkas on August 20, 2018.
The lower court's order prevented transport authorities from "interfering directly or indirectly with (Angkas) operations and the apprehension of its bikers."
"Our position remains the same - motorcycles registered in the service are not authorized to conduct business and offer public transport under Republic act 4136. For them to be allowed, the law has to be amended by Congress," the DOTr said.
"Additionally, the safety of patrons and commuters are also put at risk, as motorcycles are not considered a safe mode of public transport," it added.
Angkas has claimed a "safety record of 99.997 percent as a potential model for responsible traffic safety nationwide." (Ventures Cebu)