Campaign in public school? Marcos-Duterte rally in Guimbal, Iloilo postponed
MANILA, Philippines — The scheduled proclamation rally of the tandem of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio in Guimbal town in Iloilo has been set to another date amid questions on its venue.
Atty. Vic Rodriguez, spokesperson of Marcos, said the proclamation rally which was supposedly held on Thursday afternoon was “not canceled” but was only “reset to a later date.”
“The proclamation rally of the BBM-Sara UniTeam which was scheduled at 2:30pm today (February 24) at the Guimbal Stadium in Iloilo was not canceled. It was reset to a later date,” Rodriguez said in a statement.
It was reported that the proclamation rally was to be held at the “Guimbal Stadium”. However, some netizens and a local media station in Iloilo pointed out that the supposed stadium was located at the grounds of Guimbal National High School.
Some netizens who live in the area also claimed that the previous signage in the location which read “Guimbal National High School” was also replaced by “Guimbal Stadium.”
Under Department of Education (DepEd) Order No. 48 dated November 13, 2018, public elementary and secondary school heads are prohibited from electioneering and partisan political activity.
Among the prohibited acts are include utilizing government resources—including properties—for political purposes.
Organizers say it’s privately owned
Iloilo 1st District Rep. Janette Garin, whose husband organized the rally as the chairman of the Lakas-CMD party in the province, denied that the venue is a public property.
Garin claimed that the “stadium” is a private property as it was owned by the Parents Teachers Association, which the congresswoman said is a private entity.
With regard to the location of the “stadium,” Garin said it just so happened that the “stadium” was located beside the school.
“Nagkaroon kasi ng misinformation, noong hindi pa kasi nilagyan ng ganoon, nagkaroon ng mga social media post, may nag carry na local station dito sa Iloilo na ‘yong school daw ay ginagawang venue and there was a proof that it was a school kasi may label ‘yong gate doon sa may gilid na Guimbal National High School [There had been misinformation, before there were social media post and local stations carried it here in Iloilo that the school is being used as venue],” Garin said.
“However, the truth is, the tax declaration of that property is that of the Parents Teachers Association,” she added.
Garin likewise claimed that the principal of the school as well as its teachers were being threatened by supporters of other presidential candidates.
“Unang-una, to clarify things, the venue is privately owned, it is not thrue that it is owned by DepEd,” Garin said in a phone interview.
“There is also that issue na parang ginagamit din ng other camps to portray na medyo abusado si Bongbong Marcos because pinipilit mag-raly sa school,” she added.
Garin said during a meeting on Wednesday, it was agreed to postpone the rally due to the “emotional and mental torture” the situation brought to the teachers.
Rodriguez echoed Garin’s remarks.
“The UniTeam organizers, composed of local members of Lakas-CMD, deemed it proper to postpone their event following the distasteful social media posts by zealous supporters of the rival group against the innocent teachers who provided the venue for the UniTeam event,” Rodriguez said.
“To avert a possible discord between fervent local partisans and the innocent teachers, the UniTeam has decided to agree with the postponement,” he added.
INQUIRER.net has reached out to DepEd to clarify if “Guimbal Stadium” is indeed a private property and not owned by the government. However, we have yet to receive a reply as of posting time.
DepEd Region 6, however, has asked the division school superintendent to provide a report on the case.
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