TACLOBAN City, Leyte: The tandem of Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero were barred from holding a campaign rally in Davao City Friday after their organizers were not granted a permit by local officials.
The hitch forced candidates of Partido Galing at Puso (PGP) to bring their campaign to Tacloban City.
Earlier this week, the PGP team was also barred from holding a forum with students in Roxas City, the bailiwick of the administration.
Poe and Escudero were scheduled to hold a campaign sortie in Davao City Friday but they had to reschedule the event.
Lorna Kapunan, a senatorial candidate of PGP, said she was informed by their campaign organizers that they were not able to get a permit.
“I was in the same flight this morning with the campaign organizers and I asked them why we were diverted from Davao to Tacloban City and the factual answer is there were really no issuance of permits,” Kapunan told reporters.
Instead of Davao, the Poe-Escudero tandem moved their rally to Leyte. Although the city government permitted them to hold a campaign rally, the group was reportedly barred from getting supporters to attend the event.
According to former An Waray party-list Rep. Bem Noel, barangay officials were reportedly instructed not to mobilize their supporters to attend the rally.
“They were even told that we have to provide cash incentives in order for them to attend,” said Noel, who heads of the political affairs for the campaign of PGP.
Escudero said that he was not aware of the non-issuance of permit in Davao. He explained that the Davao sortie did not push through because of changes in their campaign schedules.
“It’s unfortunate if there are indeed such maneuverings. Whoever is the current leader should allow the people to listen to the candidates and for the candidates to be heard and express their views,” the senator said.
“In my province, in Sorsogon, Bicol, the stage will always be available to whoever wants to present their platform and programs. They will not be barred from speaking before the public,” he added.