Wednesday, November 21, 2018
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Netizens want Go’s posters gone

Eyesore, ‘epal,’ say critics of tarpaulins

A Bong Go poster at a footbridge on Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City —INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Irked netizens took to social media over the weekend to demand the takedown of tarpaulins emblazoned with the face of Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go which have proliferated in Metro Manila and major cities in provinces.

The hashtag, #TanggalBongGoPosters, gained traction on Twitter among people who called the ubiquitous billboards an eyesore, premature electioneering and “epal” in a bid to pressure the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) into removing them.

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Several billboards with Go’s name written in bright green letters have popped up on thoroughfares, including Edsa and Quezon Avenue, some bearing the logo of private entities, thus raising questions about whether these were in violation of rules prohibiting public officials from accepting lavish gifts.

“MMDA, let’s keep the nation clean. Get rid of pollutants in our surroundings,” read one tweet that used the #TanggalBongGoPosters tag. “Bong Go is already an eyesore as it is. Must we live with images of him everywhere we turn?” said another.

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The MMDA did not respond to the Inquirer’s repeated requests for comment. It also did not reply to queries on whether it approved the posting of Go’s tarpaulins.

Go wants posters down, too

Go himself has called for the removal of the billboards, claiming in radio interviews that he did not solicit them and would take them down himself if these were not removed. He also continued to deny that he was seeking a Senate seat in next year’s elections.

The proliferation of the billboards has coincided, however, with Go’s more robust schedule of public appearances in recent months which have seen him crisscrossing the country to donate relief goods to fire victims and weighing in on issues concerning President Duterte.

Mr. Duterte himself has teased Go to run for the Senate during speeches.

A Supreme Court ruling in 2009 removed premature campaigning from the list of election offenses as it categorized would-be candidates’ advertising materials as a mere “exercise of freedom of expression.”

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