October 25, 2017 at 12:01 am
Rio N. Araja
TRANSPORT leader George San Mateo on Tuesday denied any link with the Communist Party of the Philippines and committing rebellion for organizing a nationwide two-day transport strike.
At the Pandesal Forum at Kamuning Bakery in Quezon City, San Mateo, Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) president, said the strike was “simply just a strike,” and not a form of rebellion against the government.
He dismissed allegations that Piston was a political group, saying the involvement of the progressive Kilusang Mayo Uno in the strike did not mean Piston was a left-leaning group.
“It saddens us when President Rodrigo Duterte said we are a political group just because KMU joined and backed our strike. He even had a dialogue with it [KMU] before,” he said.
When asked by one of the veteran media personnel if he was a member of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, San Mateo replied “I am not representing the NDFP. I am not representing the CPP, KMU or Bayan. I’m representing Piston. Do not tell me that I am destabilizing the government. You are out of context.”
He said the President has politicized the issue of jeepney modernization.
The jeepney sector is not yet that prepared for the modernization program of all jeepneys nationwide by Jan. 1, 2018, he said.
San Mateo said Piston is “very open any day any time to dialogue with the President” to express their sentiments that they do not actually oppose the jeepney modernization, but would want a different framework.
The President tagged Piston, along with human rights group Karapatan and KMU, in conspiracy with the CPP to destabilize the government.