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October 16 transport strike to push through - MANIBELA

Transport group MANIBELA will push through with its planned transport strike on Monday, October 16, despite the recantation of the corruption allegations of a “whistleblower” against the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

MANIBELA president Mar Valbuena said on Thursday that the nationwide transport strike will be staged to rally against the LTFRB’s December 31 deadline for the consolidation of traditional jeepneys as part of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).

“Tuloy na tuloy dahil yung nakaamba rin na deadline sa amin na December 31,” Valbuena told Super Radyo dzBB.

(We will push through with the strike because of the December 31 deadline.)

“Blessing in disguise na lumabas itong whistleblower at malaking bagay ito sa amin na nasiwalat itong corruption. Kaya kami iniipit dito sa mga circular na ito. Syempre, pag naiipit kami makikiusap kami. At pag makikiusap, may kaakibat na corruption,” he said.

(It was a blessing in disguise for us when the whistleblower surfaced. Exposing corruption inside the LTFRB was a great help because that’s the reason why they released their guidelines and circulars—for us to appeal to them. And in appealing, there’s corruption.)

On Wednesday, former LTFRB employee Jeff Tumbado recanted his allegations of corruption against Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista and suspended LTFRB Chairperson Teofilo Guadiz III.

This came days after he accused Guadiz of delivering corruption money to Bautista and that the suspended LTFRB chairperson told him two congressmen were also involved in transactions such as the opening of new routes or franchises.

“I have issued this sworn statement as a form of public apology in favor of Chairman Teofilo Guadiz III, Secretary Jaime Bautista, of the DOTr, and to the Office of the President,” Tumbado said, adding he had no “malicious intention to besmirch the integrity and reputation” of any individual.

Guadiz has since been suspended due to the accusations, which he denied. 

Likewise, Bautista rejected the accusations and said he didn't allow corruption in the DOTr.

LTFRB Board Member Mercy Paras Leynes was named LTFRB OIC chairperson beginning October 10, 2023, until October 9, 2024. —VBL, GMA Integrated News