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Panelo vows to commute on his own, without media coverage

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo vowed to take public transportation on Friday alone and without media coverage.

“Madaming gustong sumama pero gusto ko mag-isa (A lot of people want to go with me but I want to do it alone),” Panelo said in a Palace briefing Thursday, adding that he does not have security detail since 2016.

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The Palace official also claimed that he turned down media coverage to avoid turning his commute into a “spectacle.”

“As far as I know, none [no media coverage]. Maraming gusto pero, tinanggihan ko lahat (Many want to cover my commute but I rejected them all),” he said.

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He also refused to provide details of his planned commute to Malacañang, saying that it is a “secret” and “you’ll just hear about it and see it.”

Panelo also claimed that commuting is not new to him, saying that he would usually commute on his own whenever his driver was not able to report to work.

The last time he commuted was two months ago, he said.

Panelo on Wednesday night accepted the dare of militant groups Anakbayan and Bayan to commute to work to experience the “hellish reality” of the transport system in Metro Manila. He announced that he would take the jeepney and LRT-2 on his way to Malacañang on Friday.

Panelo recently 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.

He also said commuters should just leave early if they wish to arrive at their destinations on time. /je

READ: Panelo on facing commute challenge: ‘It’s a silly acceptance’

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