PISTON president nabbed for strike

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

MANILA – The president of the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (PISTON) was arrested yesterday.

George San Mateo was charged with violation of Section 20 of the Commonwealth Act 146, or the Public Service Law, for leading a transport strike in February.

Police arrested him at the Quezon City Hall of Justice as he was about to post bail for his case at the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC).

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) filed the case.

Quezon City MTC Branch 43 Judge Don Ace Mariano Alagar found probable cause and issued a warrant of arrest.

The Quezon City Police District, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group were ordered to hunt down San Mateo.

The court set a P4,000 bail bond for San Mateo’s temporary liberty.

According to the LTFRB, San Mateo and PISTON pursued with a transport strike of jeepneys on Feb. 27 despite the prohibition by the agency.

PISTON and other transport groups held the nationwide strike to oppose the government’s public utility vehicle modernization program.

The LTFRB also accused San Mateo of “deliberately misinform[ing] the public regarding modernization program.”

It said San Mateo violated the Public Service Act as conducting a transport strike is an “adoption or application of a measure which affects the public in relation to the public service which the transport sector was supposed to provide.”

Section 20(k) of Commonwealth Act 146 states that any operator engaged in public service business shall “adopt, maintain or apply practices or measures, rules or regulations to which the public shall be subject in its relations with the public service.” (Philippine News Agency and GMA News/PN)