PISTON has received reports that the PNP-QCPD is forcibly profiling some drivers and operators of the UP Transport Group (UPTG). On June 22, the QCPD Anonas Station 9 summoned several members of UPTG to Barangay UP Campus, promising to provide assistance. They were forcibly brought to the police station and were asked to provide a list of active members and to sign an attendance sheet that also required their addresses. The police also tried to obtain the names of the presidents of each route in UP but failed to get the information from the drivers. The police also said that if the association has any “concerns” or complaints against the government, they should approach the police. During the consultation, the police displayed a tarpaulin with the name of a JODA (Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association) as an organization that has pledged against the CPP-NPA-NDF.
This is a clear form of intimidation, surveillance, and attempted red-tagging by state forces against the drivers and the UP community. What’s even more distressing is that these malicious elements are using the alleged distribution of assistance to deceive and intimidate vulnerable drivers into “surrendering” to the government against the CPP-NPA-NDF.
If the PNP truly has the sincere intention to help the drivers and small operators, there is only one urgent “concern” we have for the government — repeal the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines and junk PUV phaseout! Can the police do that? If not, they have no right to spread lies, intimidate, and red-tag!
PISTON continues to condemn the schemes of the Marcos Jr. government, the PNP, and the menace that is NTF-ELCAC, who are the true terrorists spreading fear and oppressing the weary and angry people who have been suffering under corrupt governments and the puppets of the US and Chinese imperialists.
If the government genuinely desires lasting peace and an end to the five-decade armed conflict in the country, it is neither productive nor justifiable to allocate billions of taxpayers’ money to “counter-insurgency funds” for surveillance and intimidation of legal and democratic organizations.
We want to remind the government that achieving long-lasting peace should be based on social justice. As long as there are Filipinos who are hungry, deprived of livelihood, and oppressed, there will always be Filipinos who will learn to fight in any way they can — whether it’s through urban strikes or armed struggle in the countryside.
We once again call for the resumption of Peace Talks, the promotion of people’s human rights, and the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms!
UPHOLD JUST AND LASTING PEACE, NOT INTIMIDATION AND DECEPTION!
RESUME THE PEACE TALKS!