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Militant groups would launch weeklong demo starting tomorrow
December 4th, 2017 | 09:17 AM | 542 views
Instead of a two-day transport strike, militant groups rejecting the looming modernization of public utility jeepneys (PUJ) would launch a weeklong demonstration starting tomorrow.
In a joint statement, the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator (PISTON) and Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) said they would be holding their rallies from December. 4 to 10 to condemn President Duterte’s support for the modernization program, which they claimed would lead to the displacement of thousands of workers in the transport sector.
“Duterte wants to take away the livelihood of more than one million drivers and operators of jeep big traders, who would like to monopolize it,” they said in their statement.
They also condemned the alleged filing of trumped-up charges against PISTON president George San Mateo and other transport group leaders for threatening to hold a transport strike.
“This is a desperate step in trying to prevent our legitimate protest against the jeepney phaseout and to suppress expanding anger of drivers, operators and commuters in his counter-poor government,” they said.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) filed a case against San Mateo of violating the Public Service Act on Friday.
Yesterday, PISTON called off its scheduled nationwide transport strike, which was supposed to be held on Dec. 4 and 5, so they could attend the Senate hearing called by Senator Grace Poe on the issue.
Poe invited Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and San Mateo to attend the hearing which she will preside on Thursday to iron out the issue surrounding the modernization program of PUJs, which is expected to be enforced by next month.
“We are grateful to Senator Grace Poe for being open to hearing the calls of drivers, operators and commuters against the jeepney phaseout. We accept her reasonable appeal to sit and discuss at a Senate hearing our proposals,” PISTON and KMU said.
PISTON, KMU and other members of the No to Jeepney Phaseout Coalition threatened to hold a bigger demonstration by January if the government would still push through with the modernization program despite their opposition against it.
courtesy of MANILA BULLETIN
by Samuel Medenilla
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