Judging from the GMA Network coverage of the September 19th PISTON (Pagkakaisa ng Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide/Union of drivers and operators nationwide) nationwide jeepney strike, the militant group failed to paralyze Metro Manila transport. In some provincial cities, they managed somewhat to cause bigger transport disruptions.
In fact, the PISTON strike hardly dented the administration’s image and the only big loser turned out to be PISTON. Any political watcher would know that these Leftist front organizations like PISTON have a dual objective in launching the nationwide transport strike. On the surface, they’re making it appear that they’re fighting for cheaper fuel, more income for the jeepney drivers and operators. However, their bigger objective is the promotion of political conditions that are favorable for their cause.
Have you noticed how they’ve tried to link President Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy) with the big oil firms? It’s one thing to accuse the P-Noy administration of being unsuccessful in curbing fuel price increases and another to insinuate that P-Noy is collaborating with the big oil firms. In their demonstrations and taken in the context of Leftist jargon, P-Noy is being cast as a lackey of the oil firms. That is pure hogwash. The truth is P-Noy is duty-bound to implement the oil deregulation law, which he did not create and enact.
That September 19th nationwide strike was another missile thrown by the Left at the P-Noy administration. The high cost of fuel prices was only their cover. They knew that their strike could not possibly affect the supply and demand dynamics of fuel prices as these are primarily determined by external developments like turmoil in the Middle East that’s causing supply disruptions. They also know that the oil deregulation law cannot be revoked because that would mean subsidizing fuel consumption - something the government cannot afford.
The members of the other transport groups, who wisely saw through the PISTON real agenda, knew that a strike would not lower fuel prices but would only lessen the income of the jeepney drivers and antagonize a lot of commuters. The other transport groups care only for their franchises and drivers. They are not promoting any ideology like PISTON and they’re not craving for political power.
Left to strike by their lonesome, PISTON stuck out like a sore thumb. People immediately recognized the strikers as the so-called militants who are never satisfied with anything and keep asking for everything. Rather than generate public sympathy for their cause, the PISTON strikers only drew the ire of inconvenienced commuters and fellow jeepney drivers who wanted to make a living.
Jeepney drivers who serviced their routes complained of being harassed by strikers. One striker stuck an ice pick into the tire of a jeepney plying its route. These Leftists have been promising “true democracy” and really “pro-people” government policies if they ever succeed in running the country. Lenin and Mao promised the same things to the Russian and Chinese people, respectively. Russia and China have since embraced capitalism and are even beating the US now in their own game.
In fact, this turnaround of Russia and China from Socialism compels the Leftists to camouflage themselves. Thus, the need for their front organizations emerged. The Filipino is not stupid though and will not buy an ideology that had already been rejected by its once biggest showcases.
It was not surprising to see Garry Martinez of Migrante with the striking jeepney drivers and demonstrating Leftists. Martinez is one of the usual suspects. During the Middle East evacuations, no matter how well the administration performed, Martinez would always find a reason to undermine the government’s efforts. Could Migrante be any different from PISTON and the other front organizations? Are they really working for Filipinos working abroad or using these workers to promote a bigger objective?
One of the most detested stunts that PISTON did that day was to have demonstrators - non-drivers at that - from Leftist youth groups disrupt traffic in some intersections by lying on the street. Next time, the government should charge all these demonstrators for obstructing traffic. How come when we’re driving too slow, we could be cited for obstructing traffic and these demonstrators, whose real intention is to stop traffic, are not cited at all?
Maximum tolerance on the part of the police is understandable when people are demonstrating without violating a law. However, maximum tolerance cannot be extended to demonstrators who are flagrantly breaking the law. That is no longer a case of extending maximum tolerance but being remiss in enforcing the law.
It’s surprising how these Leftist front organizations manage to always be featured on the news as the provider of the antithesis to the administration line. Media should be more discerning and should not help in the promotion of a hidden agenda.
The Left is benefiting from default. Other civil society groups are good only for stating positions on given issues but are not as prepared and organized as the Left. The discredited Opposition linked to Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo seems content to allow the Left to carry the demolition ball against the administration.
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