THE Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) filed a case against a public transport group leader on Friday afternoon before a local court for leading a transport strike in February.
The LTFRB filed a case against George San Mateo, president of the Pinagkaisahang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston), before the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court (QC-MeTC) for violating the Public Service Act.
A portion of its resolution read: “(San Mateo) violated Section 20 and Section 24 of the Public Service Act which provides that the act of conducting a transport strike is an adoption or application of a measure which affects the public in relation to the public service which the transport sector was supposed to provide.”
The LTFRB added that Piston’s “Tigil Pasada” was done without its approval and authorization.
The filing came as San Mateo’s group is set to lead another two-day nationwide strike on December 4 and 5 against the government’s fleet modernization plan.
Despite the case against him, San Mateo stood firm about next week’s strike which, he told The Manila Times in a phone interview would “definitely push through.”
He said the group’s lawyers would act accordingly as soon as his camp received the subpoena from the court.
“(This) will not deter us against this harassment by Duterte’s regime,” he said. “Whatever itong legal case na ito, walang bearing ito sa transport strike. Transport strike will push through regardless sa case ko.”
The LTFRB said that there would be little chance of cancellation of classes and government work next week due to the impending strike, as the last one had a “minimum effect” on the commuters.
In the rally held last October 16 and 17, Piston was joined by other militant groups, including Members of Pasang Masda, Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO), Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Associations of the Philippines (Fejodap), and Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (Altodap).
The groups claim that Makati, Pasay-Pier, Novaliches-Malinta via General Luis, Malabon-Navotas-Monumento, and Sucat-Evacom routes in Metro Manila were paralyzed, including numerous routes in Pampanga, such as in San Fernando, Guagua, Bacolor, Mexico, Arayat, Angeles City, Macabebe, Masantol and Minalin.