Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo finished his commute challenge for four hours, consists of four jeepney rides, a motorcycle ride, and help from the policemen in Marikina.
Early this morning, Panelo went off at 5:15AM from Marikina City and reached the gate of the Malacañang complex at 9:00AM.
He stood by his statement that there is “no mass transport crisis” in the country and said that Filipino commuters should make use of their “creativity”.
He even suggested public to leave early, so they can arrive at their destination on time. This resulted in a public outrage from the commuters, crying to Panelo that they have been adjusting their waking time and still get late for work.
Many people got furious and exclaimed these born-privileged officials will never understand the daily struggles in the public transportation.
“[My point is], we are very creative people. When we’re confronted with a situation [that is] hostile, we adjust. [That’s Filipino ingenuity)],” Panelo said in an interview, while on his third jeepney ride to Manila.
He also added that he took him five to 35 minutes to ride in those three different jeepneys.
“Matagal ako bago nakasakay kasi puno eh, palaging puno,” he said.
“No special treatment”
A commuter spotted Panelo at Concepcion Uno in Marikina at around 6:53AM.
The commuter, who took the photo, told media that the spokesperson was able to get a ride in just 4 minutes, because some policemen helped him.
Based on the reports, Panelo was supposed to ride the LRT-2 from Gilmore Station after his first two hours of commute.
Instead, he rode on another jeepney, which is his third ride, going to Sta. Mesa, Manila, after seeing the media waiting for him.
Moreover, a video of him taking a motorcycle, which the driver offered, is circulating online. It was a ride to get to his office at the New Executive Building from the Malacañang complex gate.
It was Bayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes Jr. who claimed Metro Manila is having “mass transport crisis” after the three railways suffered malfunctions last week.
Panelo opposed this, thus daily commuters, and particularly Anakbayan youth group and Kilusang Mayo Uno challenged him to commute for a week with no bodyguards.
Public says Panelo will never understand the lives of commuters and the mass transport crisis, for he has perks for being a privileged official in the Philippines.