Cebu City takes down Imee Marcos poster for 'politicizing' Sinulog

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 18) — The Cebu City local government took down a huge tarpaulin poster of senatorial aspirant and Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos for supposed "politicization" of the Sinulog festival.

Mayor Tomas Osmeña on Friday posted a photo of the poster with Marcos' name and face on it, and the words "Viva, Pit Senyor." The Sinulog is held in honor of the Señor Santo Niño de Cebu every third Sunday of January.

"Trust me when I tell you I am doing you a favor by taking this tarpaulin down. The Cebuanos do not appreciate the politicization of the Sinulog. This won't be earning you any votes and is doing you more harm than good," Osmeña said.

He later posted a screenshot of Marcos' response. "Dear Mayor Tommy, thank you for the reminder, and I have asked our supporters to take the tarp down. Meanwhile, Viva Pit Señor," the text message read.

 

Osmeña has ordered the removal of all political posters using the Sinulog for mileage, saying he would not allow the use of the religious festival as a campaign platform.

"National candidates like anyone else are welcome to join in the celebration, but they will not be speaking nor will they be grandstanding on stage," Osmeña said. He said nobody should be exempted from this rule, not even his brother, former Senator Serge Osmeñas who is seeking a Senate comeback.

"The only star of the Sinulog is the Sto. Niño," Osmeña said.

 

The campaign period for the May 13 elections begins February 12, although the Commission on Elections said it cannot stop aspirants from campaigning early as it has not released an official list of candidates yet.