Editorial: Politicking during the Sinulog-A A +A
Saturday, January 12, 2013
THE Cebu City Government launched Sinulog 2013 yesterday with a parade spiced with the usual street dances. Incidentally, television cameras showed glimpses of Mayor Michael Rama and Councilor Edgardo Labella, among other city officials, joining the parade—-swaying a bit from time to time and smiling through the crowd watching on the sidewalk.
The mayor is running for reelection with Labella as his running mate. Battling them for ascendancy in the coming May polls are Rep. Tomas Osmeña and his running mate, Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young, who were not visible in that activity.
Calls have been made to isolate the Sinulog festivities from the premature campaigning that has characterized thus far preparations for the elections. But candidates know that campaigning does not need to be open and direct. Mere showing up in a major event and getting media attention can be part of it.
It is therefore difficult to totally shield the Sinulog from the schemes of politicians. When Osmeña was mayor, he used to provide some candidates at the national level a platform upon which they can be introduced to the audience during the culminating activity of the Sinulog Grand Parade at the Cebu City Sports Center.
An example was when Richard Gordon was tourism secretary and was allowed to deliver a speech during the culminating activity. Gordon was also running for the Senate at that time.
It would be interesting to find out then how Rama and Sinulog organizers will conduct themselves during this year’s Sinulog Grand Parade. Will all the candidates in the city under Team Rama surface at the parade’s culminating activity and their presence acknowledged? Will candidates of the rival Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) who will grace the activity be snubbed?
President Noynoy Aquino, meanwhile, will also be attending the festivity and will deliver a speech inside the Cebu City Sports Center. Will senatorial bets of his Liberal Party join him there, like some of them did in his controversial inspection of a disaster-hit area last year? Will the candidates be introduced to the Cebuano audience?
There are more ways of killing a cat, they say, than choking it with cream.
Politicking, too, can be done in many ways and can be subject of many nuances.
Unfortunate but true.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 12, 2013.