Magsaysay to represent Aquino in Dinagyang 2013-A A +A
Thursday, January 17, 2013
FORMER senator Ramon Magsaysay Jr. will represent President Benigno Aquino III in the socio-cultural and religious Dinagyang Festival as the President’s envoy of goodwill in Iloilo City by next weekend.
City tourism officer Benito Jimena said the confirmation came from Malacañang, saying Magsaysay will be in Iloilo City for the Dinagyang highlights.
Magsaysay is a senatorial candidate under the Liberal Party out to court the Ilonggo electorates in the midterm May election.
Jimena confirmed the standing policy of the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc. not to allow a political candidate to speak at the Dinagyang program, but Magsaysay is a representative of the President out to bring the Presidential message and must speak in the Dinagyang event.
He said only incumbent Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, the city lone district congressman and other national officials are allowed to speak before the crowd by welcoming guests, visitors and participants to the festival.
The city tourism officer said that Dinagyang Festival is a best example of an effective public and private partnership and the festival was recently named as a national champion in the Galing Pook Awards.
Jimena also confirmed that Mabilog has not issued a ban on any local or national newspapers with negative stories about Iloilo City and its officials.
The city tourism officer, also the executive director of Dinagyang Festival, said there is no standing guideline by the city on newspaper distribution, especially at Stage I at the Freedom Grandstand.
But the foundation is asking cooperation of newspaper editors and publishers to project the city as a premier area in the country during the Dinagyang as a projected 1.5 million visitors and guests will converge in the city to witness the grandest tourism celebration.
Jimena said the festival is apolitical and the foundation will never allow those taking advantage of pushing their political agenda as Dinagyang is a major promotion of Iloilo.
The stage management committee is empowered to look out for these negative newspapers, fliers and other political campaign materials not to proliferate in the stage.