MMDA downplays Manibela strike yet again

MANILA — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) dismissed the impact of Manibela’s transport strike, stating that it did not affect public transportation. Acting MMDA Chairman Romando Artes claimed that no passengers were left stranded during the strike.

Around 2,000 members of Manibela participated in the protest at the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) office in Quezon City. However, LTFRB Chairman Teofilo Guadiz III did not engage with the protesters, according to Manibela president Mar Valbuena.

The MMDA is yet to coordinate with the LTFRB, Land Transportation Office, and the Philippine National Police (PNP) on a strategy to address unauthorized public utility jeepneys, Artes mentioned. A technical working group is set to establish penalties for unauthorized public utility vehicles starting this week.

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos previously warned that violators could face fines of up to P1 million for operating colorum vehicles. Meanwhile, a radio reporter alleged that he was attacked by some protesters while covering the demonstration.

In response, charges will be filed against Manibela, the station manager, and the vice president for legal at dzRH. The PNP Chief Information Officer assured the reporter of assistance if he files a complaint.

The Presidential Task Force on Media Security condemned the reported assault and has taken steps to address the issue. A protest for a temporary restraining order against the public utility vehicle modernization program is scheduled to take place in front of the Supreme Court today. Piston supports Manibela’s plea to permit traditional jeepneys to operate for one year.

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