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Bongbong, Imee Marcos slammed for gatecrashing, 'politicking' Panagbenga Festival.

Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr., and sister Imee Marcos, Ilocos Norte governor, were spotted on Feb. 24 at the Panagbenga Festival in Baguio City, an event which attracts thousands of visitors each year. 'Panangbenga' refers to the season of blossoming, hence the huge festive floats and displays of flowers that showcase the creativity of the Cordillerans.

The Marcos siblings made sure they didn't miss out on the festival of flowers, joining the parade of the officials of Baguio, along with city mayor Mauricio Domogan.

L-R: Imee Marcos, Baguio City mayor Mauricio Domogan, Bongbong Marcos. Image: Facebook/Imee Marcos

Bongbong Marcos shaking hands with the festival goers. Image: Instagram/@bongbongmarcos

It is known that politicians are not allowed to campaign in the Panagbenga celebrations, especially during the grand parades, as made clear back in 2010 by the then-executive committee of the Baguio Flower Festival.

However, Imee was found speaking at a program in Burnham Park, where she apparently introduced her brother Bongbong as the vice president of the Philippines. She also told the crowd that the Marcos family are pondering about sending another Marcos to run for national office due to the uncertainty behind the electoral case of her brother vs. vice president Leni Robredo.

'The electoral protest filed by Bongbong has not advanced,' said Imee, as stated in an INQUIRER report last Feb. 26. 'So one of his other siblings may be forced to seek national office, like me.'

Image: Instagram/@bongbongmarcos

The statement by Imee did not escape the scrutiny of media-arts alliance 'Let's Organize for Democracy and Integrity' (LODI) who took to their official Facebook page in March 1 to denounce Imee and Bongbong's attendance at the Panagbenga Festival.

'Panagbenga is not an ordinary parade. It is not a private event where organizers led by a city councilor could whimsically decide to politicize and turn into a funeral wreath festival,' it wrote. 'Neither is Panagbenga a parade celebrating, forgetting, or hiding the plunder of Cordillera under the Marcos dictatorship when foreign-owned projects grabbed and violated Igorots' ancestral domain.'

Image: Facebook/Let's Organize for Democracy and Integrity - LODI

One of the members of the LODI alliance, theater actress Mae 'Juana Change' Paner, shared the statement on her own page. 'At namumulaklak ang mga Marcos sa Panagbenga?' Paner wrote. 'Nangangampanya na ang magkapatid? Mahiya naman kayo!'

(And the Marcoses are flowering in Panagbenga? The siblings are already campaigning? Shame on you!)

Meanwhile, Segundo E. Romero, a professor-lecturer from Ateneo de Manila University, wrote in March 3, 'Vintage Bongbong and Imee Marcos: So plunderful! If you can't get lunch, get a sandwich. If you can't steal the vice-presidency, steal the Panagbenga. '

Image: Facebook/Segundo E. Romero

Student Jaymee Daniela also aired out her grievances last night, saying the Marcoses gatecrashed the Panagbenga Festival.

'So nakiparada pala sina Bongbong at Imee Marcos sa Panagbenga ng Baguio. Kaloka,' she wrote. 'Mayor na mismo ng Baguio nagsabi na hindi sila invited, pero ayun, todo kaway pa nung parade na akala mo nangangampanya. Tapos after ng parade, inintroduce pa ni Imee si BBM bilang VP ng Pilipinas. O, 'di ba? Lakas mamulitika. Danerb.'

(So it turns out Bongbong and Imee Marcos paraded at Panagbenga in Baguio. Crazy. The mayor of Baguio himself stated that they were not invited, but there you go, they still waved at people during the parade as if they were campaigning. After the parade, Imee introduced BMM as vice president of the Philippines. How about that? It's intense politicking. The nerve.)

In an exclusive report by Sunstar, Baguio city mayor Mauricio Domogan himself called the Marcoses' presence in the Panagbenga festival an 'unfortunate' incident, as the two were supposedly not officially invited to the festival.

Meanwhile, in the official Ilocos Norte government page, an article headline posted in Feb. 26 has Imee declaring, 'We are one family, one Solid North. Ilocos-Cordilleran tourism a synegry we should exploit,' referring to the 2018 Panagbenga festival.

During Imee's speech at the festival, she also said that credit should be given to her father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., because he is behind the creation of many Baguio landmarks such as the Marcos Highway, the Baguio Convention Center and Baguio Botanical Garden. JB
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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Mar 5, 2018
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