Piston leader arrest a move to silence growing mass movement

Photo from Rappler

The arrest of George San Mateo, president of Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide, because of the transport strike his group led, shows the intensifying calibrated attacks of the US-Duterte regime against the Filipino people, especially with his pronouncement of a crackdown on the legal democratic mass movement.

San Mateo was purportedly arrested for causing inconvenience to commuters because of the transport strike his group has been launching. The baseless charge against San Mateo solidifies Duterte’s plan to pulverize the growing and escalating dissent of the Filipino people against his anti-people programs and policies.

The College Editors Guild of the Philippines expresses its strong support to transport group Piston and San Mateo in their fight against jeepney phaseout, which is a clear justification for the transport strike they have continuously launched nationwide. More than 700,000 drivers and more than 250,000 operators nationwide will be affected and pushed to the side for the supposed modernization of our transport system.

In reality, this is a masterplan that will only favor big businesses. The government blatantly uses the transport crisis to make way for a profit and monopoly centered urban planning where corporate interest matters more than the lives of our local drivers and operators, and the entire Filipino people.

San Mateo’s arrest fully unveils Duterte’s move to silence the thriving mass movement who are mobilizing not only against the privatization of a basic social service but also against the amplifying fascist attack of his regime against the people.

Although San Mateo was temporarily released on bail, the Guild calls on its member publications and all student publications nationwide to take part in mobilizations on December 7 and 10 to condemn the brewing dictatorship of the US-Duterte regime.

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