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Sanctions mulled vs transport groups behind spikes

Sanctions may be slapped against transport groups who placed metallic spikes on the road as part of their strike on Thursday, an official from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said. LTFRB board member Manuel Iway, however, admitted that they do not know who specifically scattered the spikes, but said the culprits could only be members of the protesting groups, the motive being to force other transport operators and drivers to join them. “Iyong ibang sasakyan, natakot nang bumiyahe kasi may mga nagpasabog ng metallic spikes. Ang daming na-flatan ng gulong (A lot of vehicles developed flat tires because of the spikes, and that scared off other drivers to ply their routes)," Iway said. Iway said the incidents were reported in Cagayan de Oro City and Davao City, both in Mindanao.

He said it was up for the local police to go after and file charges against the people responsible for the metallic spikes. He said the LTFRB would see if the franchises of the groups that participated in the strike could be suspended. Asked on who participated in Thursday’s strikes in the two Mindanao cities, Iway identified the Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) and 1-United Transport Koalisyon (1-UTAK). “Titignan pa namin ang puwede namin gawin na magkaroon ng separate charges (We’ll see if we can file separate charges against them)," he said. In Metro Manila, the transport strike was considered peaceful because only 35 jeepneys and 32 utility vans participated in it, Iway said. Asked for an estimate in Mindanao, Iwas said about 40 percent of the total number of jeepneys in Cagayan de Oro failed to ply their routes due to the strike. In Davao City, protesters were able to slightly paralyze the traffic. In a report on radio dzBB, local transport groups claimed to have paralyzed 90 to 95 percent of public transport in Davao. Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte has already ordered local police to arrest protesters who were scattering spikes and burning tires during the protest action. - Mark D. Merueñas/KBK, GMA News