Transport Leader in Bicol Injured in Shooting

MANILA — As progressive transport groups prepare for what is expected to be a massive strike today, a leader of such a group was shot early today, Monday, in Bicol.

Joel Ascutia, president of Condor-Piston-Bikol, an organization of jeepney drivers and operators, was shot at 4:30 a.m. today, July 13, in Legazpi City. Colleagues said two bullets hit Ascutia in the back but he is out of danger and is undergoing treatment at a hospital.

The shooting of Ascutia occurred as public-transport operators and drivers across the Philippines prepare for today’s protest against the profiteering of big oil companies and the government’s failure to regulate them.

Piston has also denounced the oil companies for manipulating the prices of products such as LPG. It said the Arroyo regime is complicit in the companies’ “greedy” practices.

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