Juana Change takes anti-epal drive to the streets

By Jon Carlos Rodriguez, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Sep 07 2012 06:33 PM | Updated as of Sep 08 2012 07:32 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The online “anti-epal” campaign that aims to call out politicians who advertise themselves on billboards and tarpaulins will take to the streets of Quezon City on Sunday, activist and theater actress Mae Paner (also known as “Juana Change”) told ANC.

Juana Change said a motorcade tour will roam Quezon City, which she dubbed as the “epal capital of the Philippines.”

She said the tour will pinpoint billboards and tarpaulins with politicians’ names and photos in hopes that they will be taken down.

“We’ll be on a flatbed [truck] and we will tour Quezon City. We will shame them and name them,” she told ANC’s “@ancalerts” on Friday.

The motorcade, which will be hosted by Carlos Celdran, starts at 6:30 a.m. at Centris along EDSA corner Quezon Ave.

'Epal' not OK

Juana Change, who has been an activist since the 1980s, expressed her dismay over tarpaulins bearing the names and faces of politicians.

“They’re ugly. They use government funds, and even if they use their own funds, pangit pa rin, they should take them down,” she said.

She also said there is no justifying the tarps and the billboards, even if it is just the politicians’ way to inform the public of their good works.

“It is your job to serve. And if you are serving, then why do you have to put your name na pagkalaki-laki? Nagagalit na tina-tanga ka tapos ang kapal ng mukha and to them it’s alright. Excuse me, it’s not alright, sir, ma’m,” she said.

Juana Change added that attention-grabbing politicians have also resorted to putting their names on relief packs distributed during times of calamities.

“Epal” is derived from “mapapel,” a Filipino slang pertaining to people who are in need of attention.

An anti-epal measure has been introduced by Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago and is formally titled “An Act Prohibiting Public Officers from Claiming Credit through Signage Announcing a Public Works Project.”