Clr Espino draws criticism for “insensitive” remark at drivers’ rally


Bacolod City Councilor Al Victor Espino has received criticism after his comment during a dialogue with protesters at the Bacolod City Government Center yesterday, May 9.

Espino with his “Spiderman-like” stunt jumped off the barricade at the government center grounds to reached protesters but only to say his line: “At end of the day, tilig-angon lang ni…”

Screengrab from Bombo Radyo Bacolod

This remark caused outrage among the protesters, as they interpreted it as a direct insult to their plight.

Espino was asked to clarify certain issues regarding the city’s policies and the traditional jeepney phaseout, which led to some heated exchanges between him and the protesters.

During the dialogue, Espino told protesters that they had misdirected their protest towards the city government, as the agency authorized to act on their provisional authorities is the Land Transportation and Franchising Board.

Noli Rosales, secretary general of Kilusang Mayo Uno and a member of the United Negros Drivers and Operators Center (UNDOC), said that following their dialogue with Espino they will instead bring their protest to the LTFRB regional office in Iloilo on May 11.

The protesters gathered for about three hours at the government center’s ground on Monday morning but dispersed after a dialogue with Espino.

Espino is the chair of the Bacolod Sangguniang Committee on Transportation.

Meanwhile, Mayor Alfredo Benitez at his Monday press conference told reporters that he had reached out to Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista to inform him about the city government’s original agreement with LTFRB Region 6.

The agreement involved the issuance of provisional authorities for traditional jeepneys to operate. However, this plan was derailed due to the change in the Chief Transport Development Officer, causing a setback for the initiative.

The transport department previously agreed for the city to endorse applications for provisional authorities, which would address the shortage of modernized jeepneys in Bacolod, and the LTFRB would subsequently approve them, according to Benitez.