Benitez orders police, BTAO to arrest ‘unlawful’ PUJ drivers

Bacolod City Mayor Albee Benitez
Bacolod City Mayor Albee Benitez

Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez has ordered the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) and the Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO) on Tuesday, May 21, to arrest the unlawful traditional jeepney drivers who staged protests against the government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program.

Benitez said he received a report that some members of the transport group in Bacolod, who staged a rally along Barangay Singcang-Airport, managed to harass one of the traditional jeepney drivers who did not join the rally on Monday, May 20. 

Police Station 8 records showed that Charlie Jalandoni, 39, a resident of Purok Masinulundon, Barangay Punta Taytay, filed a malicious mischief complaint against the group of Rudy Catedral of Bacolod Alliance for Commuters, Operators, and Drivers (Bacod).

Jalandoni told the police that at about 11:30 a.m., while he was driving his traditional jeepney plying the Sum-ag-Central Market route, he passed by the group of Catedral, who was protesting at Bangga Yap, Barangay Singcang-Airport.

He said they stopped and harassed him.

His driven jeepney incurred damages, including the stoplight, headlight, wiper, two tires, signal light, and shifting assembly.

He added that during the incident, one of the Bacod’s members took his wallet, and when it was returned to him, his P5,000 cash was already missing.

Benitez said that any violators or unlawful PUJ drivers should be arrested.

“We will not allow them to take matters into their own hands. If they want to protest, there’s a proper way of doing the protest, but if they do unlawful things, we will make a proper arrest,” he said.

The mayor noted that a video was presented to him when the complainant had been harassed in the area.

Benitez said it’s the proper forum in which the complainant will file a case, and they should face the consequences.

Moreover, Catedral, president of Bacolod, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.*

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