Sulu Sultanate Princess Jacel Kiram’s campaign materials were removed in Davao City, according to Vice President Jejomar Binay’s camp.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) denounced alleged tactics supposedly by its political rivals against Kiram who it said was being pressured to support another presidential candidate.
UNA spokesman Mon Ilagan said the party had received reports from its leaders in Davao that supposed city hall personnel were allegedly removing campaign tarpaulins of UNA candidates even those posted in private establishments.
“Huwag naman sana daanin sa pwersa at pananakot ang mga kandidato ng UNA [Let us not use force and intimidation against UNA candidates]. Elections are not won by terrorizing political rivals–we should respect each other’s views and belief. How can one claim to be a champion for peace, when people live in fear and terror? Dapat pa nga nilang protektahan at suportahan si Princess Jacel na residente mismo ng Davao [They should even protect and support Princess Jacel who herself is a resident of Davao],” Ilagan added.
Kiram, who is running for senator under UNA, alleged that some people have approached her and advised her to print campaign posters with Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte if she wants her campaign materials posted in the city.
Duterte is running for President under the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan.
“Kasi ang sabi dapat daw magpagawa ako ng tarp na dalawa kami ni Duterte, pero [It was said that I should have a tarp with me and Duterte on it made, but] I cannot do that because I have my President,” Kiram said.
According to her, this was not the first time that her campaign materials were removed in Davao.
UNA said that her supporters personally saw “people who looked like employees of the Davao City Traffic Management Center” allegedly taking down and confiscating her campaign materials.
“Nakatira ako sa Davao pero hindi ko nga naiintindihan kung bakit pinapatanggal nila ang tarpaulin ng isang tumatakbong senador na residente ng Davao… iyon nga lang, si Binay ang dinadalang Presidente [I live in Davao but I do not understand why they are having the tarpaulins of a Davao resident who is running for senator taken down… only, under Binay],” Kiram said.
Despite this, she urged her supporters to observe propriety and sobriety at all times.
“I hold my rivals in high regard and I do not want to believe that anyone has ordered the removal of my posters. However, it is very disappointing to see such acts of sabotage,” Kiram said.
According to her, they already called the attention of the Commission on Elections to look into the incident.
Kiram is pushing for an intensified claim over Sabah, decentralization, greater Muslim participation in government and the advancement of women rights and welfare.