Police arrest Piston's George San Mateo

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 43 ordered the release of transport group leader George San Mateo after he posted bail on Tuesday, December 5.

San Mateo, the president of the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston), posted bail of P4,000 after his arrest on Tuesday.

"The warrant of arrest dated 1 December 2017 issued against the accused is hereby recalled," the court order reads.

The court had ordered San Mateo's arrest for leading a transport strike back in February. His actions were allegedly a violation of the Public Service Act.

"Arrested si George sa may gate ng Hall of Justice. Kahit may escort na 2 congressmen at 2 lawyers. Balyahan at tulakan. Dinala sa Station 10," Piston secretary general Steve Ranjo earlier told Rappler in a text message.

(George was arrested by the gate of the Hall of Justice, even though he was being escorted by two congressmen and two lawyers. There was pushing and shoving. He was brought to Station 10.)

Leftist groups have condemned San Mateo's arrest, calling the Duterte administration "paranoid." – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.