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Panelo rides jeepney, motorcycle to Malacañang

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Friday morning made true with his promise to use public transportation in going to Malacañang.

Panelo, who took on the challenge made by militant groups, sent photos to media outlets showing him riding a jeepney. He initially called the dare as a "silly challenge" but later changed his mind.

Panelo has refused to identify the specific area from where he would start his trip to avoid media coverage.

A report on Saksi on Thursday night said the route Panelo was expected to take will start from an unspecified area that is assumed was his residence. He was expected to take a jeep and then the LRT2 at the Betty Go-Belmonte Station to the Legarda station, and then take a short walk to Malacañang.

Panelo arrived in Malacañang way past 8 a.m., or almost four hours after he left his residence in Marikina City shortly after 5 a.m. Aside from jeepney, he also hitched a ride with a motorcycle rider which brought him to the Palace.


Twitter user @MelvyndefenThor , meanwhile, reported seeing Panelo in Barangay Concepcion Uno in Marikina City at 6:53 a.m. He said Panelo was able to take a ride at 6:57 with the help of policemen.


Another Twitter user, @erikapels, said she rode the jeepney with Panelo. She attested that Panelo had no bodyguards with him.

'No transport crisis'

Panelo, in an interview over Dobol B sa News TV on Friday, said his travel started with a jeepney ride at about 5:15 a.m. after about a walk that lasted between 10  to 12 minutes. He said he had to wait for 5 minutes for the jeep to arrive at his area of origin.

He also described his experience riding the jeepney. 

"Mainit, masikip. Sabi ko nga hindi iniintindi ng mga kritiko ang sinasabi ko," said Panelo. "Wala tayong crisis kasi hindi naman tayo paralyzed. Ako kahit naka-kotse, I have to leave hours earlier."

After the jeepney ride, he said he will take the LRT2 at the Gilmore station.

"Alam niyo laking kalye rin ako. Noong nasa UP College of Law ako, nagji-jeep ako. Nagkamali sila ng hinamon," said Panelo, responding to his critics.

'Talagang mahirap'

In another interview on Unang Balita around 6 a.m., Panelo admitted that commuting was not an easy task.

"Talagang mahirap kasi unang-una gigising ka nang maaga. Pangalawa, makikipaghabulan ka. Pag hindi ka mabilis sumakay ng jeep eh mauunahan ka ng ibang mas bata sayo, mas mabilis," he said.

He, nonetheless, expressed optimism that Filipinos can still bear with the current transport system.

"Kaya lahat 'yan. Alam mo, tayong mga Pilipino malikhain tayo. Tayo 'yung tipong pag may problema, tinatawanan lang natin, gumagawa tayo ng paraan para tayo'y maging angkop sa sitwasyon pero hindi ibig sabihin pababayaan nalang natin itong ganito," Panelo said.

The presidential spokesperson bared that he doesn't have a specific call time at work for the day. "Walang magagalit sayo pero matatambakan ka ng trabaho kung hindi mo masisimulan nang maaga," he said.

As of 8 a.m., Panelo was spotted at Gilmore.

Nato Reyes

One of Panelo's critics, Bayan's Renato Reyes, who offered to join him in taking the challenge, arrived at the LRT2 station in Santolan a few minutes after 5 a.m. He said he was there to witness Panelo take on the "commute challenge." 


—with Dona Magsino/BAP/KBK, GMA News