Kuligligs launch protests, paralyze traffic in Manila

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 01 2010 07:52 PM | Updated as of Dec 02 2010 03:54 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Hundreds of kuligligs or 3-wheel motorized pedicabs wheeled their way from Lawton to the Supreme Court on Taft Ave. to protest a Manila City ordinance banning them from major thoroughfares.

The protest paralyzed traffic in major portions of Manila.

Executive Orders 16 and 17, which ban the kuligligs from main streets, took effect today. City officials said their engines are not registered with the Land Transportation Office.

The drivers have already filed a petition with the Supreme Court (SC) seeking to halt the orders. The petition has yet to be resolved.

The group said 800 kuligligs and 2,000 drivers joined the “motorcade.” Police claimed, however, that the crowd reached only about 500.

Clash with the police

At past 7:00 a.m., the kuligligs started their motorcade from Plaza Lawton to the SC in Padre Faura in Manila.

They paralyzed traffic below Lagusnilad Bridge and a lane in Taft Avenue going to the SC.

Before 10:00 a.m., they again convened in front of the Bonifacio Shrine just across the Manila City Hall, in an attempt to hold a dialogue with Mayor Alfredo Lim.

Only the Mayor’s chief of staff and city legal office personnel faced the drivers.

The drivers then brought their kuligligs along Burgos Street and blocked the road.

Police elements gave them until 12:00 noon to voluntarily disperse.

Around 11:00 a.m., reinforcements from other police units and the special weapons and tactics group came to the scene.

The police tried to adjust the deadline but unruly protesters started to make a commotion, blocking traffic again with their kuligligs.

The protesters clashed with the police. The latter had to use a water hose and tear gas, thus injuring some.

The protesters were finally dispersed at past 2:00 p.m. Police were able to arrest some of them. – report from Francis Faulve, ABS-CBN News