Presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao on Wednesday said government has not done enough to solve public transportation woes and relieve road traffic, an evaluation he made as he took the train of state-owned Philippine National Railways.
As he acknowledged this was his first time on a PNR train, the PROMDI party's standard bearer said he was disappointed over the administration's failure to improve the mass transport system and ease road traffic.
"Nagkaroon ng improvement. Huwag natin ipikit ang mata natin. Pero inaasahan nating makabawas sa traffic makatulong sa ano . . . Hindi pa talaga totally nasosolusyunan ang traffic at sa problema ng transportasyon," the senator said at the sidelines of his public consultation meeting in Santa Mesa, Manila.
Pacquiao, meanwhile, defended himself from observations he was also violating the campaign guidelines released by the Commission on Elections.
People swarmed Pacquiao upon seeing him, posing for a selfie, shaking his hands, and some even hugging him.
"Mahirap kasing tanggihan ’yung mga request ng mga tao. Pangit naman kung tatanggihan mo, eh hindi naman tayo maka-Pilipino niyan. Ang Pilipino kasi accommodating, compassionate at nagmamahalan sa isa’t isa. Kaya ipinakita na lang natin ’yung tunay na pagka-Pilipino," the retired boxing champion said.
He also criticized the Comelec's "no permit, no campaign policy."
"Huwag na tayong mag-eleksyon . . . Ano pang tinatawag nating eleksyon kung hindi tayo makapangampanya? Mag-isip-isip din. Mag-isip-isip din ang Pilipino," Pacquiao said.
He added: "Kaya ako nananawagan sa Comelec na kung pwede i-review ulit kasi kawawa naman ang mga tao."
Pacquiao said he could write to the Comelec and request the relaxing of election rules.
As for the idea of government relaxing facemask rules, Pacquiao said he would leave the decision up to the public.
"Para sa akin optional na lang ’yung magtanggal o hindi, depende na sa tao kung magsuot ka o magtanggal ka. Pero huwag nating pilitin kasi may tao naman talagang maingat sa sarili," Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao also reiterated his stand that surveys should only be used by the people as a "guide" and not as the influencer of a voter's would-be decision.
"As a candidate, hindi tayo tumitingin d’yan. Ang tinitingnan natin ’yung ikot natin, ’yung clamor, ’yung suporta ng mga tao, ’yung hinaing ng tao," Pacquiao said.
"Alam ko ang sambayanang Pilipino hindi nagpapadaan sa survey. Ang nasa puso nila . . . kung sino ang makakatulong sa bayan . . . ’yun ang iboboto nila," Pacquiao insisted.
Some people interviewed after Pacquiao's Sta. Mesa visit, meanwhile, stressed they will only vote for candidates with a clear and good track record.