Transport group condemns violent transport strikes


PEACE IN THE STREETS. Liga ng Transportasyon at Operators ng Pilipinas (LTOP) president Orlando Marquez Sr. seen here during a press conference on Oct. 11, 2023 opposing an earlier transport strike. On Monday (June 17, 2024), he called on operators and drivers to exercise sobriety amid opposing views towards the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization (PUVM) Program. (PNA photo by Joey Razon)

MANILA – The Liga ng Transportasyon at Operators ng Pilipinas (LTOP) has condemned another transport group’s use of violence during a strike that was staged to protest the government’s implementation of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization (PUVM) Program.

In an interview on Monday, LTOP national president Orlando Marquez Sr. said there is no room for violent behavior in the transport sector, even if at times, the sector’s fight for more government support and incentives are founded on legitimate grounds.

The leadership of Samahang Manibela Mananakay at Nagkaisang Terminal ng Transportasyon (Manibela) is currently in hot water in connection with the mauling of DZRH reporter Val Gonzales in addition to their role in disrupting the flow of traffic in certain roads.

Marquez said his group is firmly behind the Quezon City Police District’s (QCPD) filing of formal charges against those who had a hand in inflicting harm on the journalist and at the same time continue to defy the long-delayed PUVM.

“There is no excuse for harming anyone over a lost cause. They (Manibela) should be held accountable for the trouble they caused last week. The transport sector is overwhelmingly behind modernization, so, no amount of mischief will allow them to have their way,” LTOP’s president said in Filipino.

It can be recalled that on Friday, the QCPD filed charges for alarm and scandal, and resistance and disobedience to persons in authority against Manibela chairman Mar Valbuena and Regie Manlapig, who heads the group’s Bulacan and Pampanga chapters, before the office of the city prosecutor.

Marquez said modernization of the public transport sector should have begun as early as 1997, but it never really took off due constant protests and dilatory tactics from certain quarters within the sector that resist change.

He revealed that “about 90 percent” of operators under the LTOP banner have already complied with the route consolidation and are in the process of upgrading their vehicles, as called for by the PUVM Program. (PNA)