‘Kuliglig’ drivers get support from bishops

Posted By: Chris On:

MANILA, Dec. 7, 2010— An ecumenical organization has joined the outrage against last week’s violent dispersal by local authorities of protesting “kuliglig” drivers, which resulted into the injury of some rallyists.

Convenors of the Ecumenical Bishops Forum (EBF) said the way Manila authorities handled the Dec. 2 protest was “brutal” for drivers who “were simply earning their living the honest way.”

The kuliglig (motorized sidecar) drivers were opposing the execution of a local ordinance that would lead to their phase out.

“While we, the Bishops, understand the motive the City Government to regulate the operation of “kuligligs” like all other vehicles plying the city, we don’t understand the necessity of inflicting harm on the drivers and destroying their vehicles,” they said in a statement.

The statement was signed by Protestant Bishop Elmer Bocolon, EBF executive secretary, and Catholic Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez, and Methodist Bishop Solito Toquero, both co-chairpersons of the organization.

The prelates also said there is no sense in the advice given them to remove the “engine” from their vehicle because some of them, as shown on television, had no legs with which to pedal their machine.

“These “kuligligs” are proving helpful to the riding public, for otherwise they will not be patronized,” they said.

“These drivers are also residents of the city to whom the government has responsibility and concern, especially because they belong to the marginalized and less privileged members of society.”

The bishops said they are hoping the government will find “creative way” of helping the kuliglig drivers “in a manner that will be beneficial to the city, the kuliglig drivers and the riding public.” (CBCPNews)

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