Militant transport organization Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON) lambasted Malacañang for claiming that their group is planning a week-long transport strike. In a statement, PISTON president George San Mateo branded the accusation as “fake news.”
“Wala pong transport strike bukas (March 20). Gaya ng ating inihayag sa media at publiko nung Marso 14 press conference at kanina sa press conference ay isang araw po ang strike na ating isinagawa ngayong araw, March 19,” San Mateo wrote on his Facebook page.
“Sa halip na harapin at kausapin ang mga drayber, operator, at mamamayang nagpoprotesta laban sa pekeng negosyong modernization ni (Pangulong Rodrigo) Duterte, ang gobyernong Duterte ay parang batang gumagawa ng fake news at tirang pikon,” he added in a separate post.
Speaking to members of the media, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that Malacañang may be forced to suspend classes in all levels in Metro Manila from March 20 to 23 (Tuesday to Friday) if militant transport group PISTON continues its strike against the government’s jeepney modernization plan.
PISTON and the umbrella organization No To Jeepney Phase Out Coalition also refuted the claims made by the government that the transport strike earlier today failed, saying that in certain parts of Metro Manila, as much as 90% of the jeepney drivers decided to participate in the protest. The group also pointed out that if their strike wasn’t successful, then the government wouldn’t have deemed it necessary to suspend classes in all levels throughout the region by afternoon.