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Nationwide transport holiday fails; protesters staged peaceful rallies – PNP

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The transport holiday on Monday failed as major public transportation remained normal throughout the day even as protesters staged peaceful rallies nationwide, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said.

Reports reaching the PNP Headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City said some of the protesting jeepney drivers tried to block the roads in some parts of Metro Manila by lying down on the streets.

Elsewhere in Metro Manila, public utility vehicles (PUVs) ferried passengers to and from their destinations with no letup.

One jeepney driver said they are scared to join the transport holiday because they will lose their franchise.

PNP chief Deputy Director General Nicanor Bartolome said no untoward incident was reported in the transport holiday.

Bartolome said the PNP deployed 5,000 personnel to strategic areas to ensure peace and order during the transport holiday, which started Sunday midnight and will last until 5 p.m. Monday.

PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz said no arrests were made since the anti-riot policemen deployed in areas of convergence of strikers were ordered to exercise maximum tolerance in order to prevent the outbreak of violence.

Cruz said 35 protesting drivers were monitored at the corner of C-4 Road and M. Naval in Navotas, 20 in Starmall Alabang in Muntinlupa City, 50 protesting drivers along Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City; 30 protesters in Barangay Novaliches Proper in Quezon City; and 10 protesting members of a labor group on Roosevelt Avenue also in Quezon City.

Outside Metro Manila, 105 protesters were monitored in Cagayan de Oro City and 60 others in Surigao City.

Meanwhile, state employees united under the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) participated in the nationally-coordinated People’s Protest and Transport Strike vs. Oil Overpricing.

The group maintained day-long protest centers in front of the National Housing Authority (NHA) in Quezon City, at Victoria Mall, Monumento in Caloocan City and the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Quirino Station (Northbound), with protests peaking with a simultaneous noise barrage at around 12:00 noon.

COURAGE National President Ferdinand Gaite slammed the recent spate of oil price hikes, saying “Government employees, like the majority of the Filipino people can no longer cope with the rising prices of commodities and services. (PNA)




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