Apprehended Uber drivers in Cebu unaware of suspension stay

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 16) — Two Uber drivers who were arrested on August 15 in Cebu City thought the suspension order against the transport network company had been lifted.

Dennis Juanite and Brian Estillore accepted bookings after Uber reactivated its app on August 15 following the filing of its motion for reconsideration before the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

Read: Uber files motion for reconsideration vs. LTFRB's 1-month suspension order

The LTFRB denied the motion the same day, but only after 6 p.m.

Read: LTFRB denies Uber appeal on one-month suspension

"They said that when the Uber booking app opened after having closed earlier during the day, they took it to mean that they could accept bookings again. So, they did," LTFRB Central Visayas Director Ahmed Cuizon told CNN Philippines.

Uber had initially stopped operations in keeping with the suspension order issued on August 14, but reactivated its app the next morning without waiting for the LTFRB decision.

Read: LTFRB suspends Uber for 1 month

LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada scored Uber for its "unethical business practice" for doing this. She said Uber exposed its drivers to arrest by allowing them on the road despite the suspension order.

Read: LTFRB: Uber drivers face apprehension following app's reactivation

Juanite and Estillore had accepted bookings from LTFRB agents posing as passengers. They were apprehended past 5 p.m., about an hour before LTFRB issued its decision. 

Cuizon said their office will collect the ₱120,000 fine and impound the vehicles of the drivers for three months.

Uber was suspended because the continued to accept and activate new vehicles despite a freeze order by LTFRB.