Press Release
December 5, 2017


Although we respect the independence of the courts, the timing of the release of the arrest warrant is suspect and casts doubt on the intent of the complainant in filing such charges. The PUV modernization program should be borne from a democratic process and not from underhanded tactics. After all, it is through the labor and industry of these jeepney drivers and operators that our commuters are able to travel from one point to another despite the failure of the government to provide better mass transportation options.

Everyone has the right to peaceably assemble. It is unclear based on the cited section of the Public Service Act what exactly San Mateo violated. If holding a strike is tantamount to a violation under any memorandum of the LTFRB, then the proper penalty should have been a fine or suspension or cancellation of their franchise, not threatening their leader with incarceration.

All told, this confusion is a manifestation that the PSA has to be revisited and studied carefully to result in a more balanced interplay between public service, on the one hand, and the right to peaceably assemble, on the other hand.

Piston and other transport groups have agreed to a dialogue called by my committee on Monday. With their entire livelihood at stake, the least we can do is hear them out. Moving forward, let us give them and other stakeholders a chance to explain so that we can resolve their issues together.

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