ARAW ng Davao culminated on Saturday, March 16, with the Parada Dabawenyo. The parade was participated by 447 contingents from both public and private sectors.
In previous years, we would usually see various sectors showing their support to the city during the parade. However, this year there are new participants in the parade.
Riding on their floats bearing their names, ballot numbers, and giving election paraphernalia, senatorial candidates were present in this year's Parada Dabawenyo. Spotted were Sonny Angara, Francis Tolentino, Jiggy Manicad, Imee Marcos, Bong Revilla Jr., Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, and JV Ejercito.
While nothing is stopping them to join the parade, it felt like they used the Parada Dabawenyo as a tool to advance their political careers. It felt like they disrespected the essence of the celebration, which is the celebration of Davao City.
When we posted photos online, netizens criticized their participation at the Parada Dabawenyo saying that they have politicized the annual parade.
The candidates should have chosen another day to conduct a parade to promote themselves. A day when all the attention are given to them. There are a lot of days when they could have had a parade with their floats.
The annual festivity should never be used as a platform by politicians to advance their political agenda. They can come and take part but should never be allowed to campaign in any form. Whether they deny campaigning during the Parada Dabawenyo or not, seeing them at the Parada Dabawenyo was not nice.
We celebrate Araw ng Davao for how the city has grown throughout the years with the collective efforts of the people and its local government unit. Araw ng Davao and any of the activities held during the celebration should never be used as a platform to advance one's political agenda. There are other days when politicians can campaign.