Metro Manila traffic

Valenzuela postpones talks with NLEX operator due to ‘subtle threats’

Aika Rey

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Valenzuela postpones talks with NLEX operator due to ‘subtle threats’

TALKS POSTPONED. Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian serves the order suspending NLEX Corporation's business permit in the city.

File photo from Valenzuela City LGU FB Page

'They issued a subtle threat on court action. We do not do well under threats,' says Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian

Due to “subtle threats,” Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian on Wednesday, December 9, said that it is postponing talks on the RFID mess with the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) operator.

In a DZRH interview, Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) senior vice president for communications Romulo Quimbo Jr was asked whether the toll operator is planning to seek a temporary restraining order against the suspension of the subsidiary’s business permit.

Quimbo told the radio station on Wednesday that it has “sought” guidance from the national government on how to approach the issue.

Sa palagay namin sa pagpupulong [makikita] naman ni Mayor na tama ang hakbangin natin…. ‘Di na sana tayo tutuloy, para di naman maging legal issue,” Quimbo said in response to DZRH’s question.

(We believe that through dialogue, the Mayor will see that we’re taking the right steps. We hope that it will not become a legal issue.)

Gatchalian, however, interpreted the statement as a “veiled threat.”

In a series of tweets, the Valenzuela chief executive questioned the intentions of the toll operator.

“I don’t get this. You want to dialogue but you are saying there’s a potential court case. I’m not sure if that is good faith,” the mayor said.

Because of this, Gatchalian said that it would be better to postpone the dialogue in the meantime.

“[We are] postponing for the time being.… They issued a subtle threat on court action. We do not do well under threats,” Gatchalian told Rappler in a text message.

Rappler reached out to Quimbo, but he has yet to reply as of posting. MPTC is the holding company of NLEX Corporation, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, Cavite Expressway, and Cavite-Laguna Expressway.

Valenzuela, the Metro Manila city worst affected by the traffic gridlock caused by the poor implementation of the cashless transaction scheme, had halted NLEX Corporation’s operations within the city.

The suspension of the operator’s business permit led to a toll holiday that started Monday, December 7.

The following day, Gatchalian said that the suspension stays until NLEX Corporation is able to solve the technical and traffic problems brought by the cashless toll payment system. –

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at