Welcome banners for Pope Francis slammed

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 03 2014 03:42 PM | Updated as of Dec 04 2014 03:51 AM

Welcome banners for Pope Francis slammed 1
Pope Francis on Billboard along EDSA. Photo by Romulo Macalintal.

MANILA - Lawyer Romulo Macalintal, who represented the Catholic church in previous cases, said commercial establishments should also heed the call of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle not to use welcome banners for Pope Francis for their own interests.

In a statement, Macalintal slammed establishments along EDSA that have already displayed billboards with their companies' logos under the pretext of welcoming Pope Francis.

"These establishments should know that such commercial gimmickry runs counter to the standards of ethical advertisement as it is clearly using the spiritual visit of the Pope for the promotion of their companies or products," Macalintal said.

Tagle reminded politicians on Tuesday of the real essence of the papal visit.

He told reporters: "There's nothing wrong in welcoming Pope Francis by displaying banners. I hope the banners will not be used to promote one’s self. Baka naman in the end, hindi mukha ni Pope ang nakalagay (In the end, it’s not Pope Francis’ face displayed on the banners)."

Macalintal said the call is not only for politicians but also for everyone not to use the visit for other motivations.

"With their apparent intention to advertise their products, these companies are no different from politicians who were warned by Cardinal Tagle not to use the occasion for political purposes. They are obviously using the Pope’s holy and religious visit to the Philippines for commercial purposes," he added.

He said these companies should just donate their money to those affected by disasters.

"I am sure Pope Francis would highly appreciate it more if these commercial establishments had instead donated the millions of pesos spent for such huge billboards to the victims of typhoon Yolanda which was the main objective of the pontiffs’ visit to our country,” he said.