Ads, bottled ‘political water’ flood Laguna cemeteriesBy Karen Boncocan
BAY, Laguna, Philippines—“Epalitics” just seems to know no bounds, not even what is supposed to be a solemn time to remember the dearly departed.
In the small town of Bay in the province of Laguna, campaign materials were all over in cemeteries on All Saints Day, only they were disguised as public assistance goods like bottled water.
On Wednesday, this journalist came across an old woman carrying two bottles of free mineral water with stickers bearing photos of reelectionist Laguna Governor Jeorge “ER” Ejercito and his wife Pagsanjan Mayor Girlie Ejercito.
She said that people were distributing bottles of mineral water at the town’s public cemetery.
“Pinapamigay lang ito sa sementeryo sa Bay,” was her answer when asked by this writer about the dole out.
“Epalitics”, a Filipino for politicians constantly promoting themselves, is even more evident in cemeteries in nearby San Pablo City where candidates for the midterm elections in 2013 have made use of the holiday with much gusto, scattering their posters near cemeteries.
Tents filled with families sitting on mats or chatting on makeshift seats were not the only things that sprouted in cemeteries here, tents emblazoned with names of those aspiring to enter or retain their posts in public service in next year’s polls were also scattered throughout the areas.
Driving through the city’s outskirts to San Pablo Memorial Park and San Gabriel Memorial Garden showed even more posters and tarpaulins of candidates, urging those commemorating their dead on All Saints’ Day to drive safely during their visit.
Reelectionist Board Member Angelica Jones, a former starlet, was one such official, greeting visitors with her poster specifically made for “undas”.
Media practitioner Sol Aragones, who is testing the political waters for the first time by running for a seat in Congress, was also included in a tarpaulin with Vice Mayor Angie Yang and Loreto Amante, who is gunning for mayor in San Pablo City.
Even Senator Antonio Trillanes IV made an appearance on posters stuck on posts and kiosks outside the cemeteries. He was seen endorsing a local aspirant.
In another tarpaulin, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III’s image was also included.