Labor Group Warns Aquino of People Power vs. MRT-LRT Fare Hike (PR)

Press Release
22 February 2011

“People power might just hit you in the face.”

This was labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno’s warning to Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III should he push through with the implementation of the MRT-LRT fare hike.

Workers, together with other sectors, have already registered their opposition to the increase in public consultations on the fare hike but apparently, said the group, the consultations were just publicity stunts.

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“The Aquino administration seems to be inciting another Edsa uprising, but against an Aquino this time. Its approval of the fare hike will cause widespread outrage especially from the workers who would be most affected. On this issue, among others, Noynoy is acting against the will of the people whom he says is his boss,” Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general, said.

KMU also slammed the Department of Transportation and Communication’s admission that the fare hike aims to attract private investors to own the MRT-LRT in the privatization of the train systems. The MRT-LRT is first in the list of Aquino’s PPP projects, which aim to privatize public utilities and infrastructure projects, this year.

“The MRT-LRT fare hike shows us that Noynoy is pimping the Philippines and it is the Filipino people who are bound to suffer. This is a direct jab in the face of workers as he shows that his government prioritizes the interests of big business over that of the people. The people could just hit him back – and harder,” Soluta added.

In the light of the celebration of the anniversary of the people power uprising, workers reminded Aquino of the spirit of Edsa, where the will of the people is asserted over over the interests of the few. KMU said that as the workers and people of the Middle East wage their version of people power against dictators, Aquino should think twice about adding more burden on the backs of the Filipino people.

“We call on the Filipino workers and people: let us stop the MRT-LRT fare hike. Putting private gains at the expense of the people is making the Aquino government highly unpopular and a popular uprising is highly possible under an unpopular president,” Soluta ended.

Roger Soluta
KMU secretary-general

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