Four of 'Piston 6' walk free, but 72-year-old driver still detained

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
Four of 'Piston 6' walk free, but 72-year-old driver still detained
This photo release shows 72-year-old jeepney driver Elmer Cordero, one of the six drivers police arrested last week.
Piston / released

MANILA, Philippines — Four of the six jeepney drivers arrested for protesting their loss of livelihood walked free on Monday, but 72-year-old Elmer Cordero was not among them.

Caloocan Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 52 Acting Executive Judge Dorothy Grace Daguna-Inciong allowed the six arrested jeepney drivers to post bail of P3,000 each.

Severino Ramos (59), Ramon Paloma (48), Arsenio Ymas (56) and Ruben Baylon (59), also national deputy security general of transport group PISTON (Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide), were released on Monday afternoon.

But their lawyer Vicente Jaime Topacio told reporters that Cordero and Wilson Ranilla were yet to be released on Monday afternoon.

“We still need to fix something. Apparently, there are cases pending from way back,” Topacio said in a message.

The lawyer said that Cordero, the oldest among the 'Piston 6', or a person with the same name, supposedly has a pending estafa case.

Topacio said they would again verify and post bail for the other two drivers still in detention.

The six jeepney drivers were arrested last Tuesday and charged with simple resistance and disobedience to authority or violation of Article 151of the Revised Penal Code.

The “Piston 6” and other members of transport group PISTON held a “Balik Pasada” protest in Caloocan on June 2.

Metro Manila shifted to looser health protocols under General Community Quarantine on June 1, but government has yet to allow jeepneys to ply roads, more than two months since they were told to stop operating.

The STAR reported that one of the drivers’ lawyers, Henrie Enaje, appealed for their release on humanitarian grounds, which saw former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile freed while facing plunder charges.

But the police said charges against the six would be up to the prosecutor’s office.

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