Learn from Pope Francis, junk anti-poor MRT-LRT fare hike

20 Jan

A day after Pope Francis’ visit to the country, commuter group Riles Laan sa Sambayanan (RILES) Network called on the Aquino government to junk the MRT and LRT fare hike saying it is “anti-poor” and is against the Pope’s teachings.

“If the Aquino government learned anything from Pope Francis’ visit, it should immediately junk its anti-poor MRT and LRT fare hike. It is against the Pope’s teachings to further burden the poor just to fill the pockets of private big businesses and corrupt government officials” Sammy Malunes, RILES spokesperson said.

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Holding a system-wide noise barrage protest in different stations of the MRT and LRT, the RILES network claimed that the fare hike, which is now on its third week of implementation, would only go to the guaranteed profits of private contractors.

“Aquino’s fare hike is burdensome to us commuters who have long been impoverished by extremely low wages and high prices of goods and services. It is also unjust as the hike would only be used to guarantee the profits of private contractors as promised under onerous” Malunes said.

RILES Network also claimed that the fare hike would be used to fund President Aquino’s bets for the 2016 elections.

“Aquino is hell-bent to pass on to us commuters the whole costs of the MRT and LRT’s maintenance and operations so he could declare the allocated funds from the national budget as savings and use it to fund his bets for 2016. It is also a gift to woo the Ayalas and Pangilinans who are also LP’s biggest campaign contributors” claimed Malunes.

The commuter group also called on the riding public to continue protesting against the MRT and LRT fare hike as it is part of living-by Pope Francis’ teachings on “rejecting all forms of corruption which diverts resources from the poor” and “to break the bonds of injustice and oppression” which causes “scandalous social inequalities”.

“Pope Francis called on us to reject all forms of corruption, injustice and oppression that sinks us deeper into poverty. Let us heed his call and protest against Aquino’s corrupt, unjust and anti-poor MRT and LRT fare hike!” Malunes said. ###

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