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9月25日のまにら新聞から

Transport leader cries harassment over LTFRB's complaint against him

[ 476 words|2017.9.25|英字 (English) ]

Pinagkaisang Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) leader George San Mateo said the case filed against him by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is only meant to harass him and discourage those drivers and operators opposing jeepney-phaseout and modernization.

In a radio interview on Sunday, San Mateo said he is yet to receive a copy of the complaint against him.

"That is only a harassment of (the) LTFRB, only a harassment because the LTFRB wants to discourage drivers and small operators from protesting," San Mateo said.

He said the LTFRB filed a complaint against him after the government agency failed to discourage the drivers and operators from protesting against the government's modernization plan.

"They thought that by harassing me, the drivers and operators will be scared," he said, noting that the drivers and operators are more concerned about losing their livelihood should the government insist on its modernization program.

He also recalled that it was even President Rodrigo Duterte, during their dialogue with him on July 18, that they could protest for two or more months and he would even grant them the permit.

Meanwhile, LTFRB board member Attorney Aileen Lizada clarified that the complaint against San Mateo was not about the two-day protest last September 21 but about their protest last February 27 that caused inconvenience to public commuters.

"He shouldn't be surprised about this because we are not lacking in terms of reminding them," Lizada said.

She accused San Mateo's group of harassing the commuters.

"Don't turn tables, they (transport group) are the ones who were harassing (the people), not us," she added.

"You can't just get away from harassing commuters simply because you do not like the stand of the government," Lizada said.

She also reminded Jun Magno of Stop and Go Coalition, which will lead the two-day transportation strike on Monday, that covering the plate numbers of their vehicles is illegal.

"You're plate number should be displayed 24/7. Those who will cover and get caught, we will do something about it," she said.

Lizada assured the public that there will be free ride for commuters who will be affected by the strike on Monday.

She said 70 buses would be pre-positioned to service the commuters.

Despite the complaint filed against him, San Mateo said that there will be future protest action that his group is preparing for.

"The group PISTON and No to Jeepney Phase-out Coalition will not join the strike tomorrow but we are preparing bigger transport protest with the public next month," he said.

Under the modernization program, the government will phaseout public utility vehicles which are more than 15 years old and they will be replaced by vehicles with "low-carbon and low-emission technology."

The Department of Transportation has estimated that there are about 180,000 public utility jeepneys, or 57 percent of the total PUVs. Ella Dionisio/DMS