MANILA - As progressive transport groups in the Philippines prepared for a nationwide strike to protest the alleged price manipulation of oil prices by oil companies, a leader of one such group was shot early today in Albay province.
Joel Ascutia, president of Condor-Piston-Bikol, an organization of jeepney drivers and operators, was shot at 4:30 a.m. Monday, July 13, in Daraga, near Legazpi City in Albay. Colleagues said two gunmen onboard a motorcycle fired five shots at Ascutia, hitting him in the leg and abdomen. He was pronounced out of danger and is undergoing treatment at a hospital.
The shooting of Ascutia, which occurred less than 200 meters away from a police station, occurred as public-transport operators and drivers across the Philippines were preparing for today's protest against the profiteering of big oil companies and the government's failure to regulate them.