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Taking us for a ride

It is unfortunate that instead of seizing on the opportunity to really address the problem of oil price hikes and overpricing, President Noynoy Aquino chose to hold a a malicious media spin to try to stop the transport strike, put strike leader PISTON in a bad light and divide the ranks of the strikers, and decieve the transport groups and the Filipino public.

Frankly, it is extremely disgusting to hear more of the lies and promises to cover-up government inaction regarding the oil price hikes. During the meeting with the transport groups, all Aquino gave were empty promises that he will review of the oil deregulation law, stop to kotong, and implement Pantawid Pasada.

Oh really now. Pangako na naman? How many promises have this government actually fulfilled since it came to power?

To promise to stop kotong is obviously papogi and lame. The Pantawid Pasada program have been rejected by the transport groups after they discovered that the Pasada cards have no balances contained in them and that it is has unreasonable conditions and limitations for the driver to be able avail. More importantly, they all know that this is a band-aid measures which will be rendered useless if oil prices continue to surge.

The promise of a review of the Oil Deregulation Law without any concrete action against the abuse of the kartel is useless and deceptive. This “review” should be done long ago.

Seriously, ngayon nya lang naisipan yan? Many sectors have long been calling for the scrapping of the deregulation law. Ang nagbubulag-bulagan at nagtatanga-tangahan lang ang hindi alam yan. After so many announcements of oil price increases, the Aquino government had so much time to study and “review.” Ika nga ng mga mag-aaral, exam period na, review pa rin sya!

The government promise is clearly a deceptive ploy to stop the people’s protests against the oil price hikes as this review could take several weeks, months, years. Looking at how this inept government works, this will take a long time. Dilat na ang mata natin bago lumabas ang resulta ng review na yan.

They clearly just want to douse the protests with empty lies and promises. The transport groups and the people are being taken for a ride. They are taking the transport sector and the people for fools.

What is needed and demanded now is concrete action to stop the abuse of the oil cartel.

The government can in fact immediately act on the oil price hikes by 1) immediately stopping oil price increases amidst clear proof of overpricing and abuse and file cases to effectively stop the oil companies from increasing prices, 2) lifting the VAT on oil to immediately lower oil prices, and 3) prioritizing legislation filed in congress scrapping the oil deregulation law and pushing congress to pass it immediately.

Short of these, Palace moves would be an insult to the drivers and the people, who are getting poorer and poorer because of the price hikes.

After the deception, comes the threats. Lacierda and Malacanang, after bad mouthing and setting up PISTON, threatened the drivers who will join the strike of sanctions and suspension. Wow naman talaga. These threats show the real intention of the President whose uncle Danding Cojuangco owns chunks of shares of one of the Big 3 oil companies.

The youth, students and the people are behind PISTON and allied organizations set to hold the transport strike next week. It is a shame (but is no surprise) that the other yellow transport unions, historically known to be paid hacks and eskirols, have backed out of the strike after the meet and greet with Noynoy. (Maybe they played a part in the zarzuela?)

Our message to PISTON and to other drivers: Ituloy nyo po ang strike. Nasa likod niyo at kasama ninyo ang taumbayan. Huwag kayong magpatakot sa mga pakuya-kuyakoy lang naman diyan sa Palasyo, hindi na nahiya sa sarili at sa bayan.

It is time for the rest of the Filipino people as well to mass up in the streets and show support for our transport groups. After all, the transport groups are not the only ones affected by the rising oil priceas. More importantly, we should send a strong message to this inept and anti-people government that we the Filipino people will not be taken for a ride.

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