Next transport strike may take longer, warns jeepney group

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AFTER calling the second day of its transport strike “successful”, a group of jeepney drivers warned of a longer protest if President Rodrigo Duterte would not talk to them, along with other groups, to stop the implementation of the public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program.

“Kung kinakailangan ngang gawing isang linggo, gagawin namin ‘wag lang nilang ituloy ang phaseout,” Antonio Simangan, Jr., president of the Pinagkaisahang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON-Cubao) told The Manila Times.

(If we need to go on strike for a we, we will do so. All we ask is for the government to drop the planned phaseout.)

“Si Presidente matigas ‘yan pero ayaw niyan sa welga. Sinabihan niya kami noong July na magwelga muna kami. Ngayon nasa kanya na ang bola at hihintayin namin ‘yung pagdinig niya sa amin,” PISTON President George San Mateo told The Manila Times.

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(The President is tough but he doesn’t like strikes. He told us in July for us to go on strike first. Now the ball is in his court and we will wait for him to listen to us.)

“We, jeepney drivers, operators and commuters strongly condemn Malacañang’s announcement that the government will push through with its anti-poor phase-out scheme amidst the strong rejection of the transport sector, as proven by the 90 per cent participation in our two-day nationwide transport strike. This only forces us to hold more strikes in the next months until the government’s phaseout scheme is junked,” Kilusang Mayo Uno also said in a statement on Tuesday.

After claiming that the transport strike paralyzed 90 percent of the areas where it was held, San Mateo said
it was not a measurement of success.

“Ang sukatan ng tagumpay ay hindi sa aming mga naparalisa. Una, first time sa history ng gobyerno na magsuspend for 2 days dahil sa strike,” he said.

(We measure success not in terms of which areas were paralyzed. To begin with, this is the first time in the history of the government that it suspended classes and work in public offices for two days because of the strike.)

He also added that because of the protest, a hearing will be set at the House of Representatives to hear the strikers on October 19.

Police authorities stationed in Cubao, Quezon City  said that the second day of the two-day strike was just as peaceful as the first day.

“Halos pareho lang din kahapon. Ngayon mas peaceful kasi sumunod naman talaga ‘yung mga protesters,” said Police Chief Inspector Mario Manipin, Deputy Station Commander of QCPD Station 7 (Cubao).

(It’s similar to yesterday. It is more peaceful now because the protesters were following.)

Police estimate of the crowd in Cubao was about 60 by Tuesday the afternoon.

 

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