Hindi panggigipit ang ginawang pag-aresto ng mga awtoridad kay George San Mateo, presidente ng Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON).
Sinabi kahapon ni Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, winarningan na si San Mateo kaugnay sa inilunsad na tigil-pasada subalit hindi ito sumunod kaya dapat lamang na harapin nito ang parusa.
“I think he was warned that as a holder of a franchise, a certificate of public convenience, it is criminal and it is illegal for them to participate in any tigil-pasada. As I said, it is also pursuant to a warrant of arrest duly issued by a court and therefore, there can be no harassment here ‘no. We are just allowing the rule of law to prevail. The warning was made. He defied. He now has to face the consequences,” ang pahayag ni Roque.
Kasabay nito, nilinaw ng kalihim na walang kinalaman ang pag-aresto kay San Mateo sa naging pahayag ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte na pagtugis sa mga legal front ng New People’s Army.
Malinaw aniya sa kopya ng warrant of arrest na ang basehan sa pag-aresto kay San Mateo ay paglabag sa isang probisyon ng Commonwealth Act No. 14 na may kinalaman sa pagmamay-ari ng prangkisa.
“The warrant of arrest is for violation of Section 20(k) of Commonwealth Act No. 14 and that is for a franchise holder. I quote Section 19 of the law says, ‘It shall be unlawful for any public service to provide or maintain any service that is unsafe, improper, or inadequate or withhold or refuse any service which can reasonably be demanded and furnished, as found and determined by the Commission in a final order’.
“This is of course for the earlier tigil pasada ‘no. Because that’s actually a violation of the Public Service law. Please read the document and judge for yourself. This has nothing to do with arresting legal fronts. This has something to do with violating the Public Service law. Okay?” ang dagdag na pahayag ni Roque. (Aileen Taliping)