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Senatorial bets join Panagbenga parade but barred from speaking at fest

Senatorial candidates Lito Lapid and Imee Marcos joined this year’s Baguio Flower Festival street dancing parade on Saturday (Mar. 2) along with fellow candidate Bong Revilla Jr. (below), despite a ban against political campaigning imposed by festival organizers. Photo by EV Espiritu

Photo by EV Espiritu

BAGUIO CITY — Three senatorial candidates joined this year’s Grand Street Dancing Parade on Saturday (Mar. 2) despite a prohibition against campaigning which was imposed by organizers of the 24th Baguio Flower Festival.

Actors and former senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Lito Lapid, and Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos marched ahead of hundreds of street dancers, many of them students of Baguio elementary and high schools.

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But the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Inc. (BFFFI) did not allow the candidates to speak at a program held at the Burnham Park Athletic Bowl where all performers converged.

BFFFI stipulated in its rules that “no political personalities may join the Grand Parades in any form or manner, except for incumbent local officials of the city of Baguio, from the present serving congressman, mayor, vice-mayor, councilors and barangay captains, and chairpersons.”

It says the street dancing parade on Saturday and the Grand Float Parade on Sunday (May 3) were “not political events …  [and] only competitors or official entries or contingents from the elementary, high school, college and [participants in the parades’] open category shall be allowed to join.”

But some local officials said they allowed the candidates to join because their version of parade rules, which was passed on Feb. 11, removed parade restrictions covering candidates of the midterm elections./lzb

Elementary and high school students donned elaborate flower-inspired costumes and gave their best during this year’s Baguio Flower Festival street dancing parade. Photo by EV Espiritu

Photo by EV Espiritu

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TAGS: Baguio Flower Festival, Campaigning, grand street dancing parade, Local news, May elections, panagbenga, Philippine news updates, Politics, senatorial candidates
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