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Panelo dared to take rush hour public transport without bodyguards

MANILA, Philippines — After Palace Spokesman Salvador Panelo accepted the challenge of taking public transportation to work, some groups and personalities have laid down rules saying he should use the public transport system during rush hour sans bodyguards.

Actress Agot Isidro took to Twitter Thursday to urge Panelo to lessen the fanfare and security as he takes on the challenge since it will only be a “one-time experiment” for him.

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“Dear Sec. Panelo, Dapat no announcement, no publicity, minimal & discreet documentation and security. No fanfare,” Isidro wrote in a Twitter post.

“Anyway, for you it will just be a one-time experiment. But for the rest of the commuting public, ito yung daily CHALLENGE,” she added.

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But should Panelo have a hard time commuting, motorcycle ride-hailing service Angkas said it is ready to assist the Palace spokesman.

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“Walang aawat ah! Pag suko na, nandito lang ako,” Angkas quoted a Twitter post of Panelo’s acceptance to the “commute challenge.”

Militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan’s (Bayan) Secretary-General Renato Reyes also called on Panelo to take the public transport without any special treatment just like an ordinary commuter.

“Challenge accepted. Let’s make it worthwhile. No hawi boys. No bodyguards. No special treatment. No waiting cars. During rush hour, like the rest of the suffering commuters. This is our response to Sal Panelo, taking on the commute challenge,” Reyes said in a Twitter post.

Reyes said the long commute hours can perhaps be a time where he discusses with Panelo the problem with the mass transport system.

“Now that we have Malacanang’s undivided attention, I would like to use the commute time with Panelo to take up with him the problems of the mass transport system. The waiting time at the LRT may be long so perhaps we can use that productively by discussing long-term solutions,” Reyes said.

Youth group Anakbayan echoed Reyes’ call, but added Panelo should not take just ride public transport for a day but for a week to make sure that it will not just be a “mere performance.”

“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,” Anakbayan spokesperson Alex Danday said Wednesday night in a statement.

“To prevent this, the spokesperson must commute not only for a single day, but for a whole week,” he added.

Panelo‘s earlier statement saying there is no mass transport crisis yet in Metro Manila caused several groups to challenge him to take public transportation to work.

The Palace spokesman agreed to the challenge saying he will commute to Malacañang on Friday.  /muf

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READ: Challenge accepted: Panelo will commute to Malacañang 

READ: Palace: No mass transport crisis yet in Metro Manila 

READ: Youth group dares Duterte, admin execs: Try commuting daily 

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