'Rush hour, no bodyguards': Youth group sets rules for Panelo 'commute challenge'


Posted at Oct 09 2019 11:31 PM | Updated as of Oct 10 2019 05:39 PM

MANILA - Youth group Anakbayan laid down rules for Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo who accepted the challenge to take public transportation to go to work on Friday.

Anakbayan, along with Kilusang Mayo Uno, earlier challenged Panelo to use the country's public transport system after he denied the country is experiencing a transportation crisis.

In a statement, Anakbayan said Panelo should use the metro's mass transport system during the early morning rush hour, without body guards.

"First of all, travel during early morning rush hour. Second, no special treatment—no bodyguards to brush off crowd. Third, we are expecting the stint to be mere performance. To prevent this, the spokesperson must commute not only for a single day, but for a whole week," Anakbayan national spokesperson Alex Danday said, adding the youth and the workers will accompany Panelo.

Danday also reiterated their challenge to other government officials, namely President Rodrigo Duterte, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Spokesperson Celine Pialago to "undergo the everyday sufferings of our commuters."

"We are daring government officials not to trivialize the struggle of commuters but to forward legitimate concerns and solutions towards a pro-people mass transport system—one that is efficient, affordable, and free from corporate control. This means that if after Panelo takes on the challenge and no significant reform pushes through, then all this fiasco will be mere token and ‘pagpapa-pogi'," Danday said.

Panelo on Wednesday night said he will ride the Light Rail Transit and jeepney to go to Malacañang on Friday in response to the challenge.