VARIOUS transport leaders on Wednesday sued Uber System Inc. before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office for operating 53,334 unregistered vehicles.
The complainants were president Vigor Mendoza II of the 1-United Transport Koalisyon, Melencio Vargas of the Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines, Zenaida Maranan of the Federation of Jeepney Drivers and Operators Association of the Philippines, Efren de Luna of the Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations, Roberto Martin of Pasang Masda, Orlando Marquez of the Makati Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association, and Fermin Octobre of the Unite for Mass Progress Equality and Reality.
In other developments:
• A lawmaker on Wednesday slammed the decision of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to suspend the operation of the transport network company Uber, calling it “harsh and arbitrary.”
Rep. Jericho Nograles said the decision of LTFRB to suspend Uber’s operation for one month would do nothing good but would only remove a riding option from the riding public.
Nograles said the riding public and the tens of thousands of Uber drivers and riders were being unnecessarily punished by the LTFRB.
• Senator Win Gatchalian described as a “reckless decision” the LTFRB’s order to suspend UBER’s operations for one month. He said the move would cause further frustration to the hundreds of thousands of commuters who had no choice but to make the most out of Metro Manila’s inadequate public transportation system.
“To stop this situation from getting out of hand, I am calling on LTFRB to immediately recall the suspension order,” Gatchalian said.
• The horrendous traffic in Metro Manila would only be resolved if Congress gave him money to fix the situation, President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday.
“Traffic? You want it to be improve? Then give me money. I need money to … to whatever, to destroy there and change things,” Duterte said in his speech at the 19th anniversary of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption in Malacañang.
Duterte said the reservations expressed by members of Congress was not helping him fix anything”•referring to the long pending bill giving him emergency powers before both houses of Congress.
The complainants sued Uber board members Karen Sam Walker, Rob Van Der Waude, Charlotte Feraren Aguba-Goco, Jacqueline Laurel Maria Elena Hernandez-Cueva and Manuel Cosico as well as Joseph Ravile and Jenell Flores, Uber drivers.
“Complainants are not against Uber, but they are against Uber’s stance of wanting to be above the law,” the charge sheet read.
On May 8, 2015, the Department of Transportation issued an order allowing the mobile app-based Uber, a 99 percent Dutch corporation belonging to Uber International Holdings B.V., to operate as a transport network company.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board had authorized Uber to operate 21,353 units as public utility vehicles in Metro Manila.
“Therefore, 53,334 vehicles were being run by Uber illegally as colorum,” the complaint says.
As a result, the LTFRB fined Uber P5 million and that on Aug. 14 the agency issued a one-month suspension on it.
“Despite the suspension order, Uber still continued with its illegal operations and continued to deploy vehicles even without the proper authority from the LTFRB,” Mendoza said.
Uber filed a motion for reconsideration to challenge the LTFRB’s suspension order, but LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra, and board members Aileen Lizada and Ronaldo Corpus, denied Uber’s plea and ordered the arrest of any Uber units operating on the road.
Mendoza said they stepped into the issue since the operation of unregistered units flooding the metro could set a bad precedent and “wreck havoc” to the country’s transport modernization plan.