Twitter users confront Angkas over bikers’ visibility at Comelec

October 16, 2018 - 2:40 PM
A group of Angkas drivers were spotted supporting Bong Go as he filed his candidacy for senator on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. (PIRO4D stock/CC0)

Photos of men outside the Commission on Elections office wearing the blue uniform identified with motorcycle-hailing application Angkas surfaced yesterday. They were cheering for Special Assistant to the President Bong Go as he was expected to file his certificate of candidacy for senator.

Go himself rode a motorcycle on his way to a church hours before proceeding to Comelec.

Bong Go on a bike
Bong Go, a new senatorial aspirant and longtime trusted aide of President Duterte, arrives at a church on a motorbike on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, hours before filing his candidacy at Comelec in Manila. (Bong Go Tayo page)

Some Filipinos on social media did not let it pass, tagging the official Angkas account on Twitter and accusing it of being partisan.

Although the ride-hailing service has been apolitical, it nevertheless defended itself by replying in its signature wit.

In a series of tweets within the thread, Angkas departed from the wit and insisted that it does not support any political candidate.

“Angkas is not endorsing any political candidate, but we will in no way curtail our bikers’ freedom to express their views. Hindi tama ‘yon,” it said.

The company noted that it values freedom, which includes the freedom of some of its drivers to willingly express their political views.

“Angkas is founded on freedom,” the motorcycle ride-hailing app added. “Freedom from traffic. Freedom to make a livelihood. Freedom to express your own unique political views.”

“Democracy is you not liking what our bikers have to say, but us defending their right to say it,” it said.

“We provide a transport platform because it is mutually beneficial for you and for our bikers. We believe you use Angkas because of the skills of our bikers, and not their political views,” Angkas continued.

Others threatened to delete the application from their phones following the pictures that surfaced.

The company remarked that they are “perfectly free to do so” and once again cited the value of freedom.

“But if you wish to delete our app because of this, you are perfectly free to do so. Freedom, ‘di ba?” Angkas replied.

The motorcycle ride-hailing application has been active since 2016. It temporarily halted its services in November 2017 when the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board discovered it does not carry a business permit.

The company resumed its services in September 2018 pending hearings over its permit to operate.