Panelo shuns ‘silly’ dare for Duterte, admin execs to commute daily
MANILA, Philippines—”It’s a silly challenge.”
This was how presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo rejected a youth group’s dare for him, President Rodrigo Duterte, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority spokesperson Celine Pialago to commute so they could experience the daily plight of commuters.
Anakbayan on Tuesday challenged the four government officials to “commute to work every day for a week to experience the hellish reality of our everyday commute.”
This was after Panelo drew flak for denying Bayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes Jr.’s claim that a “mass transport crisis” is gripping Metro Manila as all of its three railways suffered glitches last week.
“As I said, the daily sufferance of commuters and motorists traversing the road in going to work and returning home or going elsewhere in Metro Manila is a given,” Panelo told reporters Wednesday in a text message.
“Whether you commute or drive, one is subjected to the same vexing inconvenience and delay, as well as the loss of precious time,” he added.
The Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 2’s commercial operation bogged down last week due to an electrical fire, forcing some 220,000 passengers to find alternative modes of transport. Meanwhile, LRT-1 stopped trips in its two stations due to “mechanical issues” Thursday, October 3, the same day the Metro Rail Transit 3 also suffered a technical glitch.