February 1, 2011
As the scheduled “public consultation” draws near, and more additional burdens to the ordinary Juan dela Cruz are being imposed, dissent among the commuters is gaining steam.
Members of the Riles Laan sa Sambayanan (RILES Network) return to the streets to reiterate their demand to stop the outrageous back-to-back fare increases for the benefit of greedy businessmen. They also condemned the insensitivity of the Aquino government which, according to them, continues to ignore the plight of ordinary Filipinos.
RILES Network spokesperson Sammy Malunes said, “The proposed increase in fares, which was tyrannically approved last January 12 by the LRTA board, manifests the rabidness of the Aquino government to woo private businessmen and onerously guarantee the profits they wish for at the expense of public welfare. This fact also shows with the way the government would not sanction the oil companies who are guilty of overpricing their products. The drivers have for so long demanded this, yet the government would rather increase fares than antagonize the oil cartel.”
Malunes further explained that the same is true with the MRT and LRT fare hikes. “The government would rather make our lives miserable than rescind the onerous contract with the private businessmen involved with the MRT. The fare we pay is not computed according to our needs but based on the 15% guaranteed return on investments (ROI) of the Ayalas and the Sobrepeñas.”
The protesters continued their signature drive in the MRT and LRT stations. They brought a freedom wall where commuters can express their disgust over the fare hikes. They are targeting to raise thousands of signatures which they will present to the public consultation or in any legal forum necessary. RILES Network is also set to mobilize its members and affiliate organizations to the public consultation on February 4 and 5 and vowed to do everything to stop the unjust increase in fares in the MRT and LRT. They said that they have sufficient legal bases to block the proponents of the fare increase.
Sammy Malunes, RILES Spokesperson