Charges vs 'Piston 6' drivers junked

Charges vs ‘Piston 6’ drivers arrested during peaceful protest junked

/ 09:39 PM April 19, 2024

 Charges vs Piston 6 holding peaceful rally dropped


MANILA, Philippines — The charges against the six jeepney drivers or the s0-called Piston 6, who were holding a peaceful protest in Caloocan City at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic have been dropped,  Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) deputy secretary general Ruben Baylon said on Friday.

The six drivers, Baylon, Severino Ramos, Wilson Ramilla, Ramon Paloma, Arsenio Ymas, and Elmer Cordero, were holding a peaceful protest near the Monumento Circle in Caloocan City last June 2, 2020 when they were arrested by the police. 


The drivers were complaining about the Duterte administration’s supposed bias against jeepneys, as this mode of transportation was not allowed to ply their old routes again due to safety and health concerns.


According to the drivers, the likelihood of COVID-19 spreading inside jeepneys are minimal compared to the modern bus-like jeepneys because of higher ventilation — leading transport groups to question if the pandemic was being used then to phase out jeepneys.

Baylon said this only shows that protesting against the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) is warranted.

“Patunay ito ng kawastuhan ng ating mga pagkilos laban sa PUVMP (This is proof that our movement against the PUVMP is just),” he said.

“Lalo lamang nitong inilalantad ang walang habas na panunipil ng estado sa militanteng sama-samang pagkilos para pagtatanggol ng ating kabuhayan,” he added.

(This only showed the relentless repression by the government of militant groups working to defend their source of livelihood.)

 The Duterte administration Duterte was hit over the arrest, as authorities back then reasoned that the apprehensions were made due to fears that protest may lead to a COVID-19 surge.


Cordero, one of the older members of the Piston 6, however, feared that there is a higher likelihood of contracting the disease while in jail.  True enough, two of the protesters eventually tested positive for COVID-19.


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TAGS: COVID-19, Piston

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