- Presidential spokesperson panned for riding LRT and MRT
- Many said he had been afforded special treatment, hence his OK assessment of train ride
- Some also challenged him to re-do the ride by himself sans his security and entourage
MANILA, Philippines – Unrealistic, and just a PR stunt.
Critics had this to say about Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque’s recent rides at the MRT3 and LRT1 even as they accused him of entirely missing the point of his declared mission to empathize with the long-suffering passengers of Metro Manila’s rail transits.
While Roque denied that his ride was meant as a publicity stunt to bolster his image ahead of the 2019 senatorial elections, many noted that his experience was vastly different from those of ordinary commuters.
For one, the presidential spokesperson rode the train at around 9:30 AM which was way past the rush hour. According to Roque, he only did it to avoid inconveniencing his fellow passengers as he had a sizable entourage which included members of the media and officials from the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Roque did say he could only imagine what it felt like to ride during rush hour.
Next, it was also noted that there were three security guards from LRT1 who escorted Roque and told passengers not to board the carriage he was in.
While the spokesman denied knowing about the train personnel, he assessed his hour-and-a-half riding experience as “okay” — a statement which did not sit well with many.
Some also dared Roque to re-do his challenge by riding the train during rush hour by himself and without any escorts so he would really feel the suffering of ordinary commuters.
Watch video of Roque interviewing his co-passengers: