A ton of “epal” posters and other illegal and unsafe election campaign materials was collected by the Metro Manila Development Authority during the first two days of its “Oplan Baklas” operation.
Francis Martinez, MMDA Metro Parkway Clearing Group head, said as of 11 a.m., his team was able to remove more than one ton of campaign materials posted outside the common poster area set by the Commission on Elections.
He said the operation covered the areas of Plaza Miranda, Lawton, Moriones, Dagupan and North Cemetery in Manila.
To prevent the candidates’ supporters from resisting, Martinez said his team only removed campaign materials outside the common poster area.
“Our men have a list of common poster areas provided by Comelec,” he said.
On the first day, the MMDA was able to collect at least a truckload of illegally posted campaign materials in some parts of Manila and Quezon City.
The Department of Public Works and Highways is helping the MMDA and the Comelec in the campaign.
DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson ordered his men to dismantle election propaganda materials posted alongside or in all ongoing or recently completed DPWH projects.
“This is our way of supporting the ‘anti-epal’ campaign or the citizens’ call on politicians not to use government projects as accessory resources to drumbeat their accomplishments at the expense of taxpayers’ money,” said Singson.
Epal is street lingo for the Filipino term “mapapel” or one who craves attention, takes credit for other people’s work, or needlessly meddles in their affairs.
The Comelec, in a resolution, tapped the two agencies to remove election propaganda materials posted on bridge approaches, road and bridge railings, road signage, chevrons, crib walls, ripraps, and in other similar public structures within the road right-of-way limits.
Environmentalist group Ecowaste Coalition reiterated its call to all candidates to support the “Basura-Free Elections” they initiated in coordination with the Comelec and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
“As actions speak louder than words, please roll out a green campaign that will not add to our garbage woes,” said Aileen Lucero, Ecowaste coordinator.
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