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Group to candidates: Spare Holy Week sites from politics

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 01:11 PM April 16, 2019
Group to candidates: Spare Holy Week sites from politics

Garbage left behind by pilgrims litter the grounds of the Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine in San Jose del Monte City in this file photo taken in March 2018. INQUIRER FILE

MANILA, Philippines — An environment watchdog appealed on Tuesday to candidates in the May elections to not flood streets leading to pilgrimage sites with campaign materials.

The EcoWaste Coalition urged national and local candidates, as well as party-list groups, to not exploit the Holy Week and the huge crowds expected to troop to popular pilgrimage sites during the season.

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“Many candidates and parties may exploit the large throngs of pilgrims visiting religious shrines or performing penitential acts to draw attention to themselves,” EcoWaste National Coordinator Aileen Lucero said in a statement.

Lucero said politicians might think of plastering posters “all over the place as if begging for votes as the polling day nears.”

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Some might even set up water, first aid and emergency response stations in tents with their names and faces prominently shown.

“We, therefore, appeal to all well-meaning politicians and groups not to politicize the faith-centered religious activities lined up for the Holy Week,” Lucero said.

The environment group also asked the public, especially those joining the Alay-Lakad penitential walk, not to leave trash in churches and pilgrimage sites such as the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Cathedral in Antipolo City and the Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine in San Jose del Monte City.

It reminded pilgrims that littering is an environmental offense which has a fine of P300 to P1,000 and one to 15 days of community service.

EcoWaste said it would field “Basura Patrollers” to monitor the garbage situation at major pilgrimage sites on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. /cbb

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