MRT-LRT fare hike: The Bayan Muna petition

Bayan Muna lawmakers Neri Javier Colmenares and Carlos Isagani Zarate today (Jan. 6) filed a new petition at the Supreme Court seeking to stop the MRT-LRT fare increases.

I’m proud to be a co-petitioner in this case, together with other commuters.

The 30-page Bayan Muna pleading is a thought-provoking read. It smashes the Aquino government’s outrageous alibis and violation of the public’s right to due process, defends the poor workers and professionals of Metro Manila, and raises the alarm over the potential conversion of P2-billion in “savings” arising from the fare hikes into a new pork barrel for the President.

"MRT-3 Manila train towards Ayala Station" by Mithril Cloud via Wikimedia Commons
“MRT-3 Manila train towards Ayala Station” by Mithril Cloud via Wikimedia Commons

In our pleading, Bayan Muna pointed out the apparent creation of new pork barrel out of the fare hikes:

[Government’s] claim that the P2 Billion “savings” resulting from the said increases will be used for “development projects and relief operations” in Visayas and Mindanao is an irrelevant basis for the rate increase and merely transforms the budgetary allocation into a “DAP-like pork barrel” through artificial “savings”. Surely, Malacanang will suddenly have P2 Billion and the luxury of selecting projects and beneficiaries for their favourite districts. Ang Pork Barrel ay public fund kung saan ang desisyon kung anong proyekto at sino ang mga benepisyaryo ay nakasalalay sa iisang tao. The appropriated amount is suddenly transformed into a P2 Billion pesos windfall that fits the definition of pork barrel.

The Bayan Muna petition


The Bayan petition

Yesterday (Jan. 5), the multisectoral alliance Bayan, – together with commuter groups TREN and RILES, and more than a dozen other leaders of various organizations – filed this petition – also a good read – at the Supreme Court:

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