Palace suspends classes again due to "imminent threats" of transport strike
Malacanang ordered again on Tuesday suspension of classes in all levels, citing the "imminent threats" of transport strike.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque issued the statement almost 10:30 a.m. when the students were already in school. This was despite the approval of Memorandum Circular No. 42 by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Monday, March 19, on the class suspension.
"In view of actual and/or imminent threats posed by some groups, we are suspending classes at all levels in Metro Manila effective today, March 20, to safeguard the safety of students," said Roque.
He said the suspension of classes in other affected areas was left to the discretion of their respective local government units.
Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) leader George San Mateo denounced Malacanang's suspension of classes even if there was no transport strike.
He accused the Palace of "trying to fan hatred" against the drivers.
Instead of facing and addressing the concerns of the jeepney drivers, San Mateo said Malacanang was resorting to "fake news."
Roque said Duterte just wanted to ensure the "protection and well-being of the students" why there was an order of class suspension.
As to the complaints of some students that the suspension of classes was not timely due to scheduled final exams, he said, "finals or no finals, if there's no transportation, there could be aberrations."
On Monday, the Palace also suspended classes due to the transport strike as it warned Duterte would not hesitate to declare the class suspension for the whole week if the strike would continue.
Roque reiterated the government remains steadfast to modernize the jeepneys and "will not be bullied or held hostage by some transport groups."
The government has been pushing for transportation modernization, which could lead to the phasing out of at least 15-year old public utility vehicles. Celerina Monte/DMS