Commuters’ group holds protest vs. MRT-LRT fare hike

22 Dec

Commuter group Riles Laan sa Sambayanan (RILES) Network trooped to the North Avenue station of the MRT today to protest the increase in MRT and LRT fares which was announced last Saturday.

According to Sammy Malunes, RILES Network spokesperson, “The fare hike’s approval comes like a thief in the night, and is just as unwelcome. The announcement was made at a time when Filipinos are busy preparing for Christmas, when it would be difficult to mount big protests which the move deserves and incites.”

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Photo from Manila Today

To show their protest, members of the group showed an image of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III as an “evil Santa Claus,” saying the fare hike is Aquino’s gift of burden to commuters and a gift of assured profits to big capitalists.

“Aquino’s fare hike is a prelude to the privatization of the train systems and is aimed at guaranteeing the profits of big capitalists close to Aquino who are salivating over ownership of the MRT and LRT. It is an added heavy burden for commuters,” said Malunes.

Photo from Manila Today

Photo from Manila Today

RILES Network called on fellow commuters to join the protest actions in January next year and to maximize the social media to express their opposition to the fare hike.

“We are calling on the riding public and all Filipinos to speak up and protest this move. Let us prove the Aquino government wrong in thinking that because of the announcement’s timing, this fare hike would not be met by widespread condemnation,” said Malunes.

Malunes also claimed that the Aquino government refused to step into and solve the problems besetting the train systems despite the August 2014 accident in the MRT, because it wants to use problems in train systems’ service to try to justify the hikes.

“For years, the public has successfully prevented this fare hike from being implemented. However, the greed of big capitalists is insatiable and the Aquino government’s subservience to big capitalists knows no bounds. Let us intensify our protests!” said Malunes.

RILES Network vowed to hold more protest actions in January, saying that the riding public is determined to stop the MRT-LRT fare hike.

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Photo from Manila Today

Photo from Manila Today

Photo from Manila Today

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