Fishers group hopes Panelo doesn’t back out from the commute challenge

Fishers group hopes Panelo doesn’t back out from the commute challenge

Manila, Philippines – After Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo announced his acceptance of the challenge to commute raised by activist groups, the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) expressed its hopes that he does not back out, a day before the set date. This was due to the fact that Panelo has a track record of backtracking from his statements, the group added.

“Normal lang kasi kay Panelo baligtarin ang mga sinasabi niya, o sa pagkakataong ito maaari siyang biglang umatras, magpapalusot na lang ng kung anu-anong dahilan, gaya ng security o kung ano pa,” PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson and former lawmaker for Anakpawis Party-list Fernando “Ka Pando” Hicap said in a press statement.

One major Panelo’s backtracking was about the drug matrix he once presented to media, which he claimed was from President Rodrigo Duterte, but days later, he contradicted himself and claimed that the source was unknown. Also recently, he denied that Duterte ordered the cancellation of seeking financial aid from countries who supported the investigation on the war on drugs, but backtracked and announced it was true.

“Umaasa talaga kaming ituloy niya, kasi kung sinsero niyang gagawin ito, pasisinungalingan nito ang kanyang pahayag na walang mass transport crisis,” Hicap said.

The fisherfolk leader also anticipated scenarios would lead to criticism or in case of a major blunder, may even cost him his job:

  • that he did commute and faced the hardships, still, he would downplay it and claim that it is not at the level of being in a mass transport crisis, consequently, he would still earn massive criticisms from the commuting public;
  • that he did commute in a breeze, still, would earn criticisms and might be dared to carry out another challege;
  • that he cheated around the challenge like it was a set-up o suddenly he withdrew, then making excuses such as security concerns or whatever, he would not simply earn denunciation from the commuting public for defrauding them, but might drag the president himself and branded as callous to their plight and inutile against the mass transport crisis. This might even cost him his post.

“Kung ako ay kaibigan ni Panelo sa Malacanang, ay papayuhan ko talaga siyang huwag nang tumuloy dahil lose-lose-lose ang scenario, kung makasakay man siya nang maginhawa, hindi nito makukumbinsi ang mga commuter dahil nga danas nila araw-araw ang hirap, kapag nandaya naman siya, mas malaking danyos ang ibubunga nito kay Duterte,” Hicap said.

He then urged the Duterte regime to make it a legacy to seriously address the mass transport crisis, by establishing an integrated and inclusive public transportation system that will not displace the jeepney drivers, small operators and other transport workers. He called to shy away from the “public-private partnership” dogma which has been already proven as ineffective and still caused mass inconvenience to the Filipino commuters. ###

Photos courtesy of Interaksyon, Inquirer and ABS-CBN.

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