MABALACAT – A mayoralty aspirant said Wednesday that her supporters are being harassed by personnel of the Municipal Traffic Enforcement Group.

Mayoralty aspirant Marjorie Morales-Sambo’s followers include a group of pastors and owners of properties where her tarpaulin posters and banners are installed.

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Sambo’s statements came following the removal and defacing of her advertisements, especially those installed in private properties and areas.

Two days ago, Sambo alleged that she and her camp were being singled-out in the municipal government’s “Oplan Baklas” and clean up of posters and banners without the necessary permits.

“Pinabura nila lahat iyung pina-paint namin sa mismong bakod ng mga may bahay. Mayroon kaming permission doon (private property owners) eh ang nangyari, pati posters namin pinag-aalis nila. So, sabi nila may ordinance, pero pag sa loob na ng bahay hindi na sakop ng ordinance na ito,” Sambo said.

Municipal Ordinance No. 55 (Series of 2003) strictly prohibits posting of banners or streamers in public places without the required permits from the municipal government.

“Wala kaming problema sa ordinance for as long as hindi kami nasi-single out lang. Kung ang ordinance ay pinapa-implement nila, dapat sa lahat at hindi lang sa amin,” she said, citing many advertisements of other candidates were left untouched even those in public areas.

“The fact is, we don’t install and post our materials in public places,” she said.

Sambo narrated that it has been a long time ago that her posters, starting with the silhouette “MMS: Mabalacat Love Ko ‘to” tarpaulin banners are being torn down but the massive removal of her advertisements started three days ago.

She said that she and her camp are appealing to her supporters not to be afraid and heighten their support for the group.

She said her camp has not filed any formal complaint fearing it will only “fall on deaf ears.”

“Sa tingin ko po and in a way, (Mabalacat is under martial law) kasi kamukha po ng ginagawang pagbaklas na iyan at pagba-ban sa amin sa mga anu-anong istasyon, ibig sabihin niyan ay suppression of the freedom press na po kaya kung hindi pa kami magsasalita ngayon ay baka na hindi na kami makapagsalita pa,” Sambo said.

Fair fight

Sambo’s supporters and allies, including Pastors Ronnie Santos, Dan Batul and Ronald Sabaña, and councilor wannabe Jun Castro, all corroborated her pronouncements and said that all they wanted is to get fair and equal treatment in their advertisements.

“Marami pong areas dito tulad sa Mawaque at Camachiles na binaklas na ang mga MMS posters at tarpaulin na sa tingin po namin ay di magandang harassment. Sana lang ay lumaban sila ng parehas at pantay,” they said.

Sun.Star Pampanga has been calling Mayor Morales several times but no response was received as of this posting.