Benigno Noynoy Aquino IIIMANILA – No, President Noynoy Aquino will not give in to netizens’ clamor for him to take the MRT Challenge #MRTChallenge.

Netizens all over Facebook and Twitter have been nominating government officials to take up the “MRT Rush Hour Challenge” – a call that a number of officials answered, but not the President.

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Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. announced this yesterday during a press briefing, saying the President is too busy running the affairs of the country.

Aquino will instead stick to his bullet-proof vehicle when going around town despite calls for government officials to take public transportation and to experience things first hand.

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“In my view, I don’t think he needs to ride the train just to experience or understand,” Coloma added.
“Let us understand that the President is the father of the nation. He is attending to many problems all day and night,” the Palace official stressed.

Senator Grace Poe initially took the challenge and the responses were mostly positive. Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya did the same but was heavily criticized for riding MRT during its off-peak hours.

Last Monday, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda and Deputy Spokeswoman Abigail Valte rode MRT train from North Avenue Station in Quezon City to Taft Avenue Station in Pasay City during the peak hours. The two spokespersons took the Light Rail Transit line 1 (LRT-1) to Manila afterwards.

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“We are taking into consideration the safety and convenience of nearly half a million Filipinos using the facility every day. We know the problems are serious. The main consideration is their safety,” Coloma added.

Yesterday, MRT encountered a mechanical trouble which forced to run with unclosed doors. Prompting outrage by commuters and proving the train’s not in optimum condition.