MANILA — Six jeepney drivers of PISTON transport group who were arrested at a recent protest were forced to spend the weekend in jail after poor internet connection at judiciary office prevented them from posting bail, their lawyer said Monday.
Caloocan chief prosecutor Atty. Ferdinand Valbuena said his office sent the documents needed for the group's release to the office of the clerk of court last Friday, 1 p.m., through e-mail.
"Binigyan namin ng priority itong kaso ng ating 6 na PISTON drivers. Hindi totoo po na kami ay walang ginawa," he told TeleRadyo.
(We gave priority to the case of our 6 PISTON drivers. It's not true that we didn't do anything.)
The court clerk's office failed to receive and process the documents because it had no internet, said the drivers' lawyer VJ Topacio.
"'Pag po tinanong natin iyong employees doon, sinasabi nila na very intermittent at kadalasan wala[ng internet]," he said.
(When you ask the employees there, they say that the internet is intermittent and frequently down.)
"Hindi lang naman po kami iyong naperwisyo sa nangyari. Ang dami po nating nakalinya na kababayan doon, naghihintay na mag-online ulit ang Office of the Clerk of Court," he added.
(We were not the only ones inconvenienced by the incident. Many others had lined up, waiting for the Office of the Clerk of Court to go online again.)
The "PISTON 6" was arrested last Tuesday when they allegedly refused to stop protesting in EDSA for government aid and permission for jeepney drivers to ply the roads during the relaxed coronavirus lockdown of Metro Manila and other urban centers.