MANILA - Cebu City has taken down a poster of senatorial candidate Imee Marcos for supposedly politicizing the Sinulog festival, a religious event that draws millions.
In a Facebook post Friday, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña told Marcos that Cebuanos "do not appreciate the politicization" of the religious festival.
"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," Osmeña told the Ilocos Norte Governor.
"This won’t be earning you any votes and is doing you more harm than good," he added.
Osmeña was referring to Marcos' poster with her name and face on it and the greeting "Viva, Pit Senyor!."
Marcos, whose family is accused of amassing ill-gotten wealth and committing human rights abuses during the reign of her late father, strongman Ferdinand Marcos, is seeking a Senate seat in the upcoming May elections.
In one of the comments on his post, the Cebu City Mayor also noted that authorities were going around the city to remove "any Sinulog-themed political tarpaulins."
"General rule: If you don’t come EVERY year, don’t come during an election year," Osmeña said.
Osmeña added that the takedown of Marcos' poster was "nothing personal," noting that he didn't even invite his own brother, former Senator Sergio Osmeña III, to the event. The latter is seeking a Senate comeback.
"Nothing personal. My own brother is running for Senator and I didn’t invite him to come," he said.
Celebrated every third Sunday of January, the Sinulog Festival honors the Señor Santo Niño or the Child Jesus. It is one of the Philippines' most popular religious festivals and usually draws millions of people.