Candidates urged not to use Sinulog Parade for campaigning in Cebu
Cebu City (6 January) -- Candidates running in the May elections are strictly prohibited from exploiting the Sinulog Grand Parade as a venue for blatant campaigning where ate least 2M people are expected to flock the parade route to witness the contingents.
Ricky Ballesteros, executive director of the Sinulog Foundation, Inc. (SFI) during the Kapihan sa PIA this morning on the 30th year celebration of the Sinulog Festival said they have coordinated with the police to stop supporters or aides of candidates from distributing leaflets promoting their political bid.
"We have already coordinated with the police to ensure that the Sinulog parade will not be marred with politics," Ballesteros said.
The annual Sinulog grand parade where hundreds of thousands of Cebuanos and local and foreign tourists as well as Balikbayans dot the major thoroughfares to watch the colorful contingents show off their dance numbers has always been a strategic occasion for campaigning every election period, Ballesteros said.
The SFI executive director however, said that supporters or aides of candidates caught in the act of handing out campaign materials will simply be asked by the police to stop the distribution of leaflets.
Only Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña as Honorary Chairman and Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama as Chairman of the Board of the SFI are allowed to deliver a speech during the program at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC), according to Ballesteros.
Mayor Osmeña earlier said he would not allow any politicians to speak during the program except Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in case she decides to pay a visit as he did not want the event to be smeared with political color.
The Sinulog Festival will launch this Friday with a solemn mass at the Basilica del Sto. Niño and a parade featuring the contingents from the Sinulog sa Kabataan and the Miss Cebu contestants riding the ‘tartanillas’ from the church to the CCSC then to Fuente Osmeña for the launching program.
The Sinulog Grand Parade is slated on the 17th or every third Sunday of January in Cebu City. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]