(Metro News) 13 out 16 Kulilig drivers freed

December 5, 2010 7:14 am 

MANILA, Dec. 4 –The Manila Police District (MPD) freed on Saturday 13 out of 16 “kuliglig” drivers after posting P12,000 bail each on charges of obstruction, illegal assembly and direct assault following the Wednesday’s rally dispersal near the Manila City Hall.

Two of the remaining kuliglig drivers were not released as they were found to have pending cases for another offenses. The 16th driver was turned over to Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) since he was a minor

The MPD filed on Thursday charges for direct assault against agents of persons in authority, illegal assembly under Batas Pambansa 880, and traffic obstruction at the Manila Prosecutor’s Office against 16 “Kuliglig” drivers after fighting off with personnel of the police dispersal team at the height of the protest action on Wednesday in front of the Manila City Hall.

Earlier charged were Mary Joyce Mangalili, 22, of Moriones Street, Tondo, Manila; and Marietta Comor, 42, of Baseco Compound, Tondo, Manila; Eddie Managuelod, 50, of Quiapo, Manila; Ato Ambag, 25, of Batasan Hills, Quezon City; Kasir Morris, 28, of Quiapo, Manila; Nelson Pineda, 35, of Quiapo, Manila; Renato Palomo, 40, of Tondo, Manila; Armando Cudiamat, 43, of Sampaloc, Manila; Roberto Eugenio, 18, Quiapo, Manila; and Ricardo Dayanan, 18, of Parola Compound, Tondo, Manila; Joey Macalino, 42, of Pritil, Tondo, Manila, who sustained a head wound after he was hit with a baton; Allan Tayo, 35, of Sampaloc, Manila; Guiamel Mamoro, 26, of Quiapo, Manila; Marvin Serrano, 25, of Sta. Cruz, Manila; Norjamil Daud, 31, of Quiapo, Manila; and Eleuterio Tisado, 53, of Isla Puting Bato in Tondo, Manila.

The 16 kuliglig drivers (motorized pedicabs) were inquested and even spent overnight at the MPD-General Assignment Section (GAS) following their arrest, according to its chief Chief Inspector Marcelo Reyes.

A policeman was hurt while a number of drivers and operators of “Kuliglig” were hurt during a clash with police operatives who were prompted to disperse them after protesters blocked the roads preventing public and private vehicles to pass by near the Manila City Hall on Wednesday afternoon. A crew of GMA 7 was also hurt.

The policeman was injured in the head while some protesters sustained bruises and contusions.

The protesters, who belonged to Alyansa ng Nagkakaisang Pedicab at Kuliglig Drivers ng Maynila (ALNAPEDKU-MANILA) and several others kuliglig associations, were allegedly seen throwing bottles and stones at the dispersal teams.

The police operatives had to bombard the protesters with water cannons and teargas to disperse them at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

The “kuliglig” drivers and operators parked their respective “kuliglig” in front of the City Hall as they were opposing the executive orders (EO) No. 16 and No. 17 issued by Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim. The executive orders ban kuliglig from operating within the main streets of Manila starting Dec. 1.

The protest action was marred with a clash between the protesters and MPD operatives. The protesters were finally dispersed at 2 p.m.

The MPD officials said they appealed to protesters not to block the entire Padre Burgos Street near the Manila City Hall and SM Manila to give way for the public and private vehicles passing by the area.

The policemen only asked for two lanes to give way for the motorists but the protesters ignored the MPD’s plea.

The protesters convened at the Lawton Plaza at 7 p.m. Tuesday and proceeded to Supreme Court (SC) at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. Carrying placards, the protesters asked SC to junk the executive orders of Lim.

At 11 a.m., the kuliglig drivers and operators marched to Lawton and managed to briefly close the road toward Quiapo. But the MPD policemen and traffic police officers later removed the obstructions.

The protesters then parked their kuliglig on Padre Burgos St., blocking the entire road. This caused to massive traffic in the vicinity and part of Taft Avenue.

ALNAPEDKU spokesperson Fernando Picorro and other “kuliglig” spokespersons from different districts warned they would still roam Manila until such time the mayor decides to recall the implementation of the executive orders.

The Manila City Hall defended its move saying the “kuliglig” cannot operate in main streets in the city because its motors are not registered with the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

The city hall officials encouraged the drivers instead to revert to using the manually driven pedicab or the “padyak” so that they could continue with their livelihood.(PNA) RMA/CS


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