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9,000 cops deployed for transport strike

MANILA, Philippines — Around 9,000 police personnel and 920 mobility assets will be deployed today for the transport strike, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Transport group Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) earlier announced a strike from Nov. 20 to 22 to protest the impending phaseout of traditional jeepneys on Dec. 31 as set in the government’s public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program.

In an interview over radio dzBB yesterday, PNP public information office chief Col. Jean Fajardo said they have collaborated with the inter-agency committee led by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and other agencies in preparing for the mass transport strike.

“We have around 920 more or less vehicles which will be deployed to help government agencies and local government units in case commuters would be stranded,” Fajardo said in Filipino.

The PNP will also conduct foot, mobile, motorcycle and checkpoint patrols to preempt and manage any illegal activities that may occur during the event.

Fajardo urged Piston members to refrain from harassing other PUV drivers who would choose to operate during the strike.

Piston president Mody Floranda yesterday said at least 100,000 PUV drivers nationwide are expected to join the mobilization.

In an interview with The STAR, Floranda identified 19 areas in Metro Manila that will be impacted by the transport strike.

Among the areas to be affected are Katipunan, E. Rodriguez and Novaliches in Quezon City; Monumento in Caloocan City; Alabang; Pasig and Baclaran.

Outside Manila, strikes will be held in Laguna, Batangas and Quezon in Region 4; Legaspi, Sorsogon and Camarines Sur in Region 5; Bacolod, Iloilo, Panay, Roxas City and Cebu City in Visayas; and General Santos City and Davao City in Mindanao.

As for the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)’s warning that those who participate in the strike could face possible suspension or cancellation of their franchise, Floranda said they look at it as a threat.

“The LTFRB should respect the right of the operators and drivers to fight for their livelihood,” he said.

According to LTFRB’s spokesperson, LTFRB