Philippine National Police

QCPD sues transport group Manibela for ‘disruptive behavior’ during strike

Jairo Bolledo

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QCPD sues transport group Manibela for ‘disruptive behavior’ during strike

TRANSPORT. In this photo, jeepney transport group Manibela head Mar Valbuena, along with jeepney drivers, file a petition at the Office of the Ombudsman accusing the top officials of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board of violations of the anti-graft practices act in pushing for the government’s PUV Modernization Program and its push for consolidation of franchises to hasten the phaseout of the traditional jeepneys, on February 7, 2024.

Jire Carreon/Rappler

'Isinagawa po namin [nang] mapayapa ang aming transport caravan at programa [nang] wala po kaming pinerwisyo at sinaktan,' says Manibela head Mar Valbuena

MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) said on Tuesday, April 23, that it filed complaints against transport group Manibela over the latter’s “disruptive behavior” during a two-day strike in Quezon City earlier this month.

The QCPD said it filed complaints against the group led by Mar Valbuena for three counts of alleged violation of Batas Pambansa 880 or Public Assembly Act of 1985, alleged violations of article 155 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) (alarm and scandal), article 151 (resistance and disobedience), and direct assault upon an agent of person in authority.

Those who face the complaints are the following:

  • Valbuena
  • Regie Manlapig, Manibela president
  • Jasmine Bordalba Denition, owner a vehicle used during the rally
  • Pacifico Dasalla Martin Jr., owner of a vehicle used during the rally

Valbuena countered the police’s claims and said they did not violate any law. In fact, it was QCPD personnel who blocked the road, causing Manibela members to get stuck in the traffic, Valbuena said.

Isinagawa po namin [nang] mapayapa ang aming transport caravan at programa [nang] wala po kaming pinerwisyo at sinaktan. At sa napag-usapang oras between Manibela and QCPD, ay kusa po kaming nag-disperse [nang] maayos at mapayapa kasi ‘yan po ay gentleman’s agreement namin sa lahat po ng dinaanan naming programa,” Valbuena told Rappler.

(We peacefully held our transport caravan and program without hurting or disturbing anyone. And on the agreed time between Manibela and the QCPD, we dispersed on our own and peacefully because that’s our gentleman’s agreement in all programs we’ve held.)

The QCPD said the complaints stemmed from Manibela’s transport strike on April 15 to 16, where the group opposed the phase out of public utility vehicles. The police claimed the “rally caused grave public inconvenience and disturbance” and the group “refused cooperation and ignored directives to relocate their protest to a freedom park.”

The police also said that Manibela failed to secure a permit from the Quezon City local government, which they said violated the law. The group’s actions also “disrupted traffic flow, inconveniencing commuters and plunging the streets into chaos.”

The QCPD has a history of filing complaints against those who hold rallies. In 2023, the QC police also filed complaints against Max Santiago, the artist behind the effigy of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. that was set on fire during a State of the Nation Address protest rally last year. The police claimed the artist violated environmental laws.

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The cops also said that the burning of the Marcos “Doble Kara (Two-faced)” effigy was a “deliberate disrespect” to Marcos and the country. The burning of the effigy “greatly contributed to air pollution which grossly negates the government program in ensuring the protection of public health and the environment,” the police added.

In November last year, a Quezon City prosecutor dismissed the complaints. –

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Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering justice, police, and crime.