Yesterday, the long, wide roads of Commonwealth Avenue looked like a parking space after every inch was filled with hundreds of cars and thousands of people due to the motorcade of the Bongbong Marcos–Sara Duterte tandem. Some netizens noticed that among the sea of red, there were some people wearing a distinct color of light blue usually associated with motorcycle-hailing app Angkas.
WATCH: Presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and his tandem Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte hold a caravan along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City on Wednesday.🎥: Lakas-CMD | @NCorralesINQ pic.twitter.com/RTbj7ZLEBL
— Inquirer (@inquirerdotnet) December 8, 2021
Early in the morning of November 8, thousands of supporters of the BBM-Sara tandem gathered along Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City, filling the highway with people and vehicles alike and putting traffic to a standstill. This caused many motorists and commuters to be stuck in heavy traffic for hours, and even ambulances had a difficult time getting through the motorcade. The Quezon City local government had to release advisories guiding motorists on alternate routes.
Before the day of, the motorcade was also involved in what Mayor Joy Belmonte referred to as “political theatrics” when the BBM–Sara camp accused the Quezon City local government for allegedly blocking the event. Belmonte denied this in a press conference.
Spotted in the motorcade
Riders of an app-based delivery service also joined the supporters at Commonwealth Ave, Quezon City. The caravan is on its way to QC Rotonda, the boundary between QC and Manila. pic.twitter.com/ggDp6Eo7en
— Jacque Manabat (@jacquemanabat) December 8, 2021
In a video shared by ABS-CBN journalist Jacque Manabat, many Angkas riders in their black and light blue uniform were seen cheering and waving as the motorcade moved along the highway.
Some netizens are calling for a boycott
Angkas received backlash upon the video going viral. Some netizens called to boycott the ride-hailing giant, with some going as far as deleting the app from their phones.
A few netizens are directly asking the company if they really are allowing their name to be dragged into the political discourse.
Some are simply waiting for their response
Aside from their quick ride-hailing services, Angkas is known for their witty social media persona, going viral for their clever quips and hilarious memes. Now, however, some netizens are wondering what kind of statement the company would release in light of the backlash they are receiving.
Should they have worn their uniforms?
A similar sentiment that was expressed in 2018 and is still being echoed now is that the riders shouldn’t have worn their uniforms while showing their support for a politician. For some netizens, the riders should’ve separated their personal activities, including supporting their chosen candidate, when they’re on the job and wearing the uniform. And for some netizens, Angkas should not have allowed their riders to attend a political motorcade in uniform if they weren’t officially endorsing a candidate.
But is the company making an official endorsement?
There has been no official statement from the motorcycle-hailing app yet.
In 2018, however, Angkas faced netizens’ outrage when some riders showed support for then-senatorial candidate Bong Go. The company responded to the criticisms seriously, saying Angkas is not officially endorsing any candidate, but they will not prevent their riders from exercising their freedom to express their political views.
Back in 2019, now-CEO George Royeca was spotted sharing a stage with BBM’s sister Imee Marcos during the 2019 Angkas unity gathering, which was held in response to the government putting a cap on the ride-hailing app’s total number of riders. Imee Marcos attended Angkas’ gathering to air her support for the company.
And is boycotting the answer?
A few netizens believe that boycotting isn’t the answer to this show of political support of Angkas riders. Even if we disagree with them, these riders do not deserve to be deprived of the livelihood that they and their families depend on. Most of them probably live from paycheck to paycheck, so calling for a boycott will hurt the riders — not the company — the most.
When cancel culture doesn’t help your cause
Boycotting would only likely lead to creating a divide that would only put more distance between all parties involved. This is something we as Filipino citizens do not want during the electoral campaign period when we need to be unified. Instead of boycotting and canceling each other, we need to engage in discourse and educate one another about history, politics, and the candidates we’re supporting. The cancel culture needs to stop, especially when it involves people’s livelihood, and we must turn to healthy discourse instead. Remember: the Angkas riders are not the enemy.
What are your thoughts on this issue? Tell us below.