‘Expect bigger protests from us’

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After his arrest, the leader of the militant Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) on Wednesday warned of bigger protests if the government continues “harassing” them for opposing the Duterte administration’s public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program to include public utility jeepneys (PUJs) that is set early next year.

“Magpapatuloy kami sa mga transport strike namin kung magmamatigas ang gobyerno sa jeepney
modernization [We would continue with our transport strikes if the government played hard ball in effecting the program],” Piston chief George San Mateo said.

He was released from jail around 5 p.m. on Tuesday, just a few hours after police officers arrested him in front of the Quezon City Hall of Justice for violating the Public Service Act in connection with a transport strike that he led back in February.

Piston secretary general Steve Ranjo echoed San Mateo, saying the public can expect stronger opposition to the PUV modernization program.


Ranjo said San Mateo’s arrest was an “overkill” to instill “fear” in drivers and operators who have denounced the modernization program.

Jerome Adonis, secretary-general of Kilusang Mayo Uno, another militant group, also decried San Mateo’s arrest, saying the Piston leader’s “fake arrest” will not stop the transport sector from fighting for its rights.

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