MMDA: No maximum tolerance for 'planking' protesters
To militants panning to engage in planking — or lying on the road — during Thursday's scheduled protest action against oil price hikes, beware: authorities would not hesitate in removing you off the road.
In a radio interview Wednesday, MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino said planking is not among the acts under their maximum tolerance policy, as it will inconvenience innocent commuters and motorists.
"Pagka bukas ginawa nila [na] humiga sa kalye, hindi bahagi ng maximum tolerance yan, aalisin [ang mga] yan," Tolentino said in an interview on dzBB radio.
Several militant groups are to hold a protest against fuel price hike on Thursday. The activities include a protest caravan from Quezon City to the oil firms' offices in Makati City and in eastern Metro Manila.
Tthe Pinagkaisang Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (PISTON) said they will push through with their protest Thursday even if oil firms have yet to increase prices this week.
"Dapat pasalamatan ang nakaambang na pagkilos. Yan ang nagtulak para kanselahin ang natatakdang pagtaas," PISTON secretary general George San Mateo said in a separate interview on dzBB.
Tolentino issued the warning after militants disrupted traffic at the southbound part of Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) in Guadalupe in Makati City before noon Wednesday.
An MMDA tweet indicated 100 people took part in the "lightning" protest and occupied three lanes, leaving only one lane passable.
One of the photos on the MMDA Twitter account showed some of the protesters appearing to sit down on the road.
"Bigla silang bumaba ng jeep at humiga sa kalye. Nang lapitan sila ng pulis, nagtakbuhan. Parang nagpapakita [na] balak nilang manggulo bukas," Tolentino said, citing reports reaching him.
Tolentino also said the MMDA will activate its command center and coordinate with police and military authorities to maintain peace and order.
He said he expects a minor disruption of daily activities in the morning but with the situation normalizing in the afternoon and evening. — RSJ, GMA News
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