Poet and artist Angelo Suarez, a convenor of Train Riders Network (TREN) and an active #MRTbulokprotester, was arrested and detained last night by security guards of the MRT (Metro Rail Transit Line 3).
By MARYA SALAMAT
MANILA – Security guards and police at the MRT (Metro Rail Transit Line 3) arrested last night poet and artist Angelo Suarez, a convenor of Train Riders Network (TREN) and an active #MRTbulokprotester. Suarez was reportedly on his way home. In a statement, Vencer Crisostomo, national chairperson of Anakbayan, condemned the arrest as harassment.
The MRT security guards brought Suarez to the police, Anakbayan said. The MRT reportedly accused Suarez of “vandalism.”
But in truth, said Crisostomo, the case against Suarez is harassment of those protesting #MRTbulok and privatization of train services.
Rather than harass the critics of privatization and profiteering of railways, the government should immediately stop the privatization of trains, reverse the train fare hikes and improve the corrupt mass transport services in the country, Crisostomo said.
To bring about real change in transportation, he urged the government to ensure efficient, safe, reliable mass public transportation in the country.
Crisostomo and the Train Riders Network said the charges filed against Suarez are baseless and as such should be dropped. They call for Suarez’s immediate release.
In another statement, James Relativo, TREN Spokesperson, expressed disgust at how the state forces are “quick to arrest people who have done nothing but speak the truth, yet allow those who profit from illegal and unjust fare hikes, those who continue to plunge our government into debt due to privatization, those who keep our trains in their sorry state, to roam free.