By Angel De Mesa
Kilusang Mayo Uno hold Duterte responsible for the illegal arrest of Piston National Chairperson George San Mateo yesterday when he was about to post bail on the complaint the LTFRB filed against him.
LTFRB accused San Mateo for the violation of the Public Service Act and was sued after the court last December 1. They based the complaint from the conducted transport strike last February that was headed by San Mateo.
The complaint stated that San Mateo has 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.
They called it as a desperate maneuver of a fascist dictator addicted to power but trembling, in fear of the people. KMU emphasizes that the illegal arrest was an act of harassment and violation of San Mateo’s rights that is part of the crackdown of Duterte administration against its critic.
“The act was also treacherous and malicious given the fact that the trumped up charges filed against San Mateo was a mere minor case and could have been settled without the arrest,” KMU stated.
According to KMU, the cases filed against San Mateo and other PUJ drivers and operators opposing the jeepney phaseout program are fabricated, baseless and obviously aimed solely to quell the growing outrage among drivers, operators and commuters against Duterte anti-poor policies.
The group called Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque a liar after claiming that the arrest on San Mateo was not harassment and for saying that it is illegal for a transport leader to join protest as a holder of franchise.
“The right to peaceably assemble and the right to strike is a constitutional and universal right. Also, isn’t the government, through LTFRB, who maliciously intrigued San Mateo’s credibility as a transport leader by claiming he is not a franchise holder nor even a driver?,” said KMU.
Despite the attack, KMU rest assured that San Mateo’s arrest will not cower the people from protesting against the Duterte anti-poor policies and creeping dictatorship.
“These would even flare-up more protests that would even shake his regime,” KMU added.
On December 10, International Human Rights Day, Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) together with other progressive organizations will launched a huge protest action with thousands of people condemning Duterte’s intensifying attacks on people’s rights, syate terrorism and creeping fascist dictatorship. (BaretangBikolnon.com)