IT HAPPENED in the City of San Fernando late last year. Now it's happening in Mabalacat town, the first class municipality that has been struggling to become a component city for more than a decade now.
Citing an ordinance that prohibits the posting of streamers and posters without necessary permits, the City of San Fernando ordered the removal of the streamers of Liberal Party standard bearer Senator Noynoy Aquino in October last year.
For some weeks now, the same thing is happening in Mabalacat, according to Nacionalista mayoralty candidate Marjorie Morales-Sambo, daughter of re-electionist Mayor Boking Morales of Lakas-Kampi-CMD.
Sambo has been lamenting what she described as the singling out by the Municipal Government of her streamers and posters.
The Mabalacat Municipal Government headed by her father is reportedly just enforcing an ordinance that disallows the posting of permit-less streamers in public places.
But the mayor's daughter has this question: How come even those posted in private premises, including the paint jobs on concrete fences, are being removed and erased?
Perhaps the father could answer the question.
In politics, especially before, during and after the elections season, many seemly strange and unlikely things happen. Mabalacat is not an exception. Have we forgotten the arson of the people's verdict on June 7, 2007?
Mayor Morales's traditional rival, businessman Anthony Dee, filed an election protest against the mayor. Suspected arsonists, who remain at large to this day, burned the contested ballots on the same day they were set to be transferred to the Angeles City Regional Trial Court. Dee lost to Morales only by 750 votes.
Because of the arson, there was no way to conduct a ballots recount. Dee was hoping a repeat of the 1998 recount done by the RTC wherein the he eventually won by 2,538 votes over Morales who was initially declared as winner by the Commission on Elections with 12,199 lead over the Chinese-Filipino businessman.
Ballots-burning was unlikely to happen in Mabalacat, which is just an hour drive away from Metro Manila and just outside the Clark Freeport Zone. But it did happen.
For now, let's give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Let's assume that the removal of Sambo's advertisements really has nothing to do with the upcoming mayoralty showdown between the father and the daughter and two other candidates.
One thing is sure, though. Mabalaqueños are fed up with dirty politics.