Politicians barred from politicizing Panagbenga

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(File photo)

Baguio City (CNN Philippines) — Aspirants for public posts, including 2016 presidential candidates, shall be escorted to the viewing side along with the rest of the crowd should they join the Grand Parades of this year’s celebration of the Baguio Flower Festival, better known as the Panagbenga, on February.

In a statement on Wednesday (January 27), Anthony de Leon, chairman of the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Inc. (BFFI), reiterated that the 2016 celebration of the Panagbenga is not a political event and shall not be made as an avenue to campaign for the coming May polls.

The Panagbenga draws over a million tourists yearly, most of them gather during the Grand Street Dancing Parade on February 27 and the Grand Float Parade on February 28, which are considered highlights of the annual festivity.

Also read: Baguio expects over 1M tourists this February

A policy from the BFFI states that no political personalities may join the Grand Street Dancing Parade and the Grand Float Parade in any manner. It only exempts incumbent local officials of Baguio City from congressmen down to barangay captains.

Even the floats and contingents of the two parades are barred from bearing any material bearing the names or photos of any political aspirant.

Politicians’ greetings and statements in tarpaulins, posters, or any printed materials will also be stripped down, de Leon said.

He added politicians reported to be disrupting the flow of the parade through distributing flyers, shaking hands with the crowd, or engaging in other political gimmicks, will be reprimanded by parade marshals.