A lawmaker has accused Malacañang of lying in its attempt to defend recent fare increases in elevated trains plying Metro Manila routes.
“There has been treachery and deception on Malacañang’s part because they have not been forthright about these issues and are still doing all they can to justify the fare increases,” Rep. Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna party-list said on Wednesday.
“Hopefully, the Supreme Court (SC) will issue a TRO [Temporary Restraining Order] even before oral arguments [on the fare adjustments are heard],” Colmenares added.
He and Rep. Carlos Zarate, also of Bayan Muna, are preparing a supplemental pleading in their bid to convince the tribunal to issue a TRO against the fare hikes in Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT 3), Light Rail Transit 1 and LRT 2.
The Bayan Muna lawmakers, both petitioners against the train fare increases, made the move since the High Court did not stop the fare hikes and instead asked the Aquino administration to file its comment on the matter.
Since January 4, fare for an LRT 1 ride from Baclaran station in Pasay City to Roosevelt station in Quezon City went up to P30 from P20; fare for an LRT 2 ride from Recto station in Manila to Santolan station in Pasig City increased from P15 to P25; and fare for an MRT 3 ride from North Avenue station in Quezon City to Taft station in Pasay City rose to P28 from P15.
“The government is made [by the Supreme Court]to explain the hikes. This [order]only means that our arguments against such increases have basis,” Zarate, a lawyer, said.
“We believe that hiking the [train fares]is beyond the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation and Communications. We will file a supplemental pleading based on DOTC Undersecretary Jose Lotilla [saying last week]that the department lacked authority to do so,” he added.
The two lawmakers noted that the January increases would only be the beginning since contracts entered into by the government provide that fare adjustments can be implemented every two years.