The six elderly jeepney drivers of PISTON transport group who were arrested at a recent protest were forced to spend the weekend in jail because of poor internet connection at judiciary office.
“Binigyan namin ng priority itong kaso ng ating 6 na PISTON drivers. Hindi totoo po na kami ay walang ginawa,” Caloocan chief prosecutor Atty. Ferdinand Valbuena said.
[We gave priority to the case of our 6 PISTON drivers. It’s not true that we didn’t do anything.]
Valbuena said his office sent the documents needed for the group’s release immediately to the office of the clerk of court last Friday, 1 p.m., through e-mail.
The court clerk’s office failed to receive and process the documents because it had no internet, said the drivers’ lawyer VJ Topacio. This led to the unnecessary overstay of elderly drivers who were arrested for trying to appeal to the government.
“‘Pag po tinanong natin iyong employees doon, sinasabi nila na very intermittent at kadalasan wala[ng internet],” he said.
[When you ask the employees there, they say that the internet is intermittent and frequently down.]
The “PISTON 6” was arrested last Tuesday when they allegedly refused to stop protesting in EDSA for government aid and permission for jeepney drivers to ply the roads during the relaxed coronavirus lockdown. For more than two months, jeepney drivers have lost their source of income due to the imposed community quarantine all over the country. Some of them weren’t able to get assistance from the government.