A Facebook page has falsely claimed that the jeepney drivers organization Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operaytor Nationwide (Piston) is a “legal front” of outlawed leftist coalition of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New People’s Army (NPA) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
The Sept. 30 post by The northern pulse said:
LAGING NASA HULI ANG PAGSISISI.... Kaya mag-ingat sa mga sinasalihang organisayson na ang tanging layunin lamang ay ang pabagsakin ang administrayon tulad ng PISTON! Sapagkat itoý legal na prente ng CPP-NPA-NDF (Regret always comes in the end, which is why we have to be careful in joining organizations like Piston that only aim to take down the government because it is CPP-NPA-NDF’s legal front)
The photo shows Piston president George San Mateo with a thought bubble that reads:
Baka magalit si boss Joma Sison kapag kumontra ako, mahirap pala ang pinasukan kong organisasyon, nagsisisi na ako sa panlilinlang ng legal na prente mga komunista. (Boss Joma Sison might get mad if I oppose, turns out it’s difficult in the organization I joined, now I regret falling for the deception of the communists’ legal front.)
Jose Maria “Joma” Sison is CCP’s founder.
San Mateo denied a similar accusation in October 2017 after President Rodrigo Duterte said his organization was affiliated with rebel groups. San Mateo said the organization does not represent militant groups nor does it plan to destabilize the administration.
Duterte identified CPP-NPA as a terrorist group under Republic Act No. 10168 in a proclamation in 2017.
Piston held a one-day transport strike on Sept. 30, the day The northern pulse published the false claim, to oppose the jeepney modernization program which will phase out jeepneys that are at least 15 years old. The proposed replacement are Euro-4 vehicles that can run on renewable energy and are worth P1 million to P2.2 million each.
Piston was red-tagged by Duterte when the organization staged a two-day transport strike in 2017 opposing the jeepney modernization program.
Red-tagging, also known as red-baiting, is when individuals or groups critical of the government are accused of being communists or terrorists regardless of their actual affiliation. (GA)
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Millions affected. Interaksyon.com. Retrieved from http://www.interaksyon.com/politics- issues/2019/09/30/155611/jeepney-modernization-transport-strike-millions-affected/
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Roxas, P. V. (2017, October 24). Piston chief vehemently denies representing NDFP in row with columnist. Inquirer.net. Retrieved from https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/940263/george-san- mateo-piston-jeepney-modernization-pandesal-forum-herman-tiu-laurel
Saavedra, J. R. (2019, October 9). PUV modernization gets backing of ‘all’ Region 7 operators. Philippine News Agency. Retrieved from https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1082709
The northern pulse. (2019, September 30). LAGING NASA HULI ANG PAGSISISI.... Kaya mag-ingat sa mga sinasalihang organisayson na ang tanging layunin lamang ay ang pabagsakin ang administrayon tulad ng PISTON! Sapagkat itoý legal na prente ng CPP-NPA-NDF.. #NoToTransportStrikes. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/thenorthernpulse/photos/a.368134110316599/703459723450701/?type=3&theater
Tuquero. L. (2019, September 30). IN PHOTOS: Piston says nationwide transport strike a success. Rappler. Retrieved from https://www.rappler.com/move-ph/241407-photos-piston-says-september-30-transport-strike-success