The two-day transport trike by Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) has finally ended.
However, things are just about to get real as President Rodrigo Duterte ignored the said strike and has released a statement supporting the modernization of the public utility jeepneys.
According to the president, old engines emit too much carbon dioxide that could affect the health of Filipinos.
He urged the drivers and operators to upgrade their jeepneys by the end of the year.
“Sumunod kayo kasi January 1 , kapag may makita ako diyang mga jeep ninyo na hindi narehistro, luma, guguyurin ko ‘yan sa harap niyo,” he said in a speech in Caramines Sur.
Duterte said the plan to modernize PUJs had been in the works since the time of former President Fidel Ramos.
“January 1, ‘pag hindi niyo na-modernize ‘yan, umalis kayo. Mahirap kayo? P— ina, sige. Magtiiis kayo sa hirap at gutom, wala akong pakialam. It’s the majority of the Filipino people. Huwag ninyong ipasubo ang tao,” he said.
Duterte even cited statistics from the United Nations saying that cases of lung cancer in the Philippines would be tripled 2025.
“There’s a health reason, actually. Public interest, public health because that would be… You can get a good definition. Kasi looking at the ailments and the diseases that we would acquire from the inhalation,” he said.
The President also warned the protesters that he would arrest them if they would violate the laws.
“Aarestuhin ko talaga kayo. Believe me. Maniwala kayo. Mag—mag-abang-abang kayo diyan sa daan ninyo, padaanin niyo, ‘yan lang ang hinintay kong magkamali kayo. ‘Yan ang pagkakamali na gusto ko,” he said.
“You give me now the reason to enforce the law against all. Walang pili. Against the rich and the poor,” he added.
Duterte said that PISTON, which organized the transport strike, along with other militant groups like Kilusang Mayo Uno and Karapatan, were just the legal fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
“It’s a one big conspiracy. But they are at the same time, all of them are committing right now, rebellion,” he said.
Source: GMA News Online