Aquino dared to public debate on MRT-LRT fare hike

27 Dec

A commuter’s group is challenging Pres. Benigno Simeon Aquino III to a public debate on the MRT-LRT fare hike, saying the chief executive should be able to defend the move before the train systems’ passengers.

The Riles Laan sa Sambayanan (RILES) Network dared Aquino to a public debate on December 29, the last Monday before the fare hike is set to be implemented, regarding whether the move favors the public or not.
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“Since he is hell-bent on implementing the move, we dare Pres. Aquino to a public debate on the MRT-LRT fare hike. We dare him to defend the move before the people who will be affected most by this anti-people measure,” said Sammy Malunes, spokesperson of the RILES Network.

The group said the debate should take place at the entrance of the Recto terminal station of the LRT-2 near the Isetann mall, at 7:00 in the morning on December 29, or in any place and at any time that Aquino would set.

“The arguments being put forward by the Aquino government to defend the fare hikes are unreasonable and unacceptable to Filipinos. We believe that the main reason for the move is to ensure the profits of big capitalists who want to own the train systems once these are privatized,” Malunes added.

Malunes criticized the Aquino government’s argument that the fare hike would stop taxpayers in the Visayas and Mindanao from subsidizing the transport systems which benefit only the residents of Metro Manila and Luzon.

“This is nothing but an excuse for privatization and should be rejected. It can be invoked to privatize any and all government services. We would also like to remind the Aquino government that many contractual workers in Metro Manila comes from the Visayas and Mindanao,” Malunes added.

The RILES Network spokesperson also said that Aquino has repeatedly tried to increase fares in the MRT and LRT and should by now be ready to present his arguments in a debate in front of the public.

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