Commuters rally at SC, press for TRO vs. MRT-LRT fare hikes

10 Feb

In time for the Supreme Court’s en banc session today, a commuters’ group together with various sectoral organizations held a picket in front of the High Tribunal’s office along Padre Faura in Manila this morning to demand a Temporary Restraining Order against fare hikes in the MRT and LRT.

Photo from GMA News twitter account.

Photo from GMA News twitter account.

The Riles Laan sa Sambayanan (RILES) Network said that the SC should be able to act now on the petition it filed for a TRO last January 5, the day that the big-time increases in fares for the train systems took effect.

“It has been one month since the fare hikes were implemented and since we filed a petition for a TRO before the SC. The riding public and all Filipinos deserve a TRO now,” said Sammy Malunes, RILES Network spokesperson.

RILES Network is among the various organizations which filed a petition for a TRO which claims that the Department of Transportation and Communications approved the fare hike without conducting public consultations on the matter.

“It is easy to see that the fare hikes are illegal, as the DOTC clearly failed to conduct public consultations. The SC could and should immediately issue a TRO against the fare hikes, which has increased the economic burden of commuters,” Malunes added.

The RILES Network also condemned the Aquino government for continuing to carry out the privatization of LRT-2, for which four groups – the Aboitiz Equity Ventures-SMRT Transport Solutions Consortium, DM Consunji Inc-Tokyo Metro Company Limited Consortium, LRM2 Consortium of Ayala Corporation and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), and San Miguel Corporation-Korail Consortium – have submitted their proposals.

“Privatization is again showing its true colors as a scheme detrimental to the public and beneficial to big capitalists and big bureaucrats in government. After suffering from the fare hikes, the public is now seeing the same big capitalists who rake in big profits from the government’s lopsided contracts getting ready to own more of the train systems,” Malunes said.

The group has claimed that top officials of the Aquino government are fast-tracking the privatization of the train systems in order to get their kickbacks for their campaign kitties for the 2016 national elections.###

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