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Cebu News

At CICC: Capitol takes down controversial banner

Michael Vencynth H. Braga - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - After spawning insinuations and discussions for more than a month, the controversial “NEVER AGAIN…” banner displayed on the façade of Cebu International Convention Center has been taken down past midnight yesterday.

But the Cebuanos for Good Governance and Development (CGGD) coalition, which claimed responsibility in putting up the banner, is still planning to mount it again.

Ethel Natera, provincial information officer, said personnel from the Provincial General Services Office removed the banner to give way for a praise and worship service of Jesus Reigns Ministries as part of its “Jesus Reigns” celebration scheduled today at the CICC parking lot.

The event is a simultaneous celebration in 82 provinces across the country. Natera said the Christian church earlier requested the Capitol to remove the huge yellow banner, which carries with it a seemingly political message, because it was “contradictory” to the event.

“Lain man sab tan-awon nga naa to,” she said.

She added that the removal was made in concurrence with the Capitol and the CGGD.

CGGD spokesperson Renil Oliva, however, said there is a big possibility that the banner will be mounted again after the “Jesus Reigns” event and complying with the necessary requirements such as permit asked by the City of Mandaue, where the facility is located.

Oliva recalled that they agreed during a meeting with the Capitol and the Christian church representatives to temporarily take down the banner for the event despite the fact that mounting it back would cause another expense on the group’s part.   He disclosed that they even hired professionals to put the banner in place. He, however, said that Capitol promised them to help in putting it up again.

“Mirespeto lang pod mi sa ilang event,” he told The FREEMAN over the phone.

He said he would discuss the matter, as well as the compliance with the requirements, with the Capitol officials. The controversial yellow banner surfaced last month.

Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III did not object to the display of the banner since it is allegedly in line with his administration’s thrust for good governance.

Weeks after, another huge banner printed with “P840, 202,438.05 People’s Money Wasted!!!” was added. The amount represents the cost of the facility, which has been standing idle after it was damaged by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake in October 2013 and the super typhoon Yolanda in the same year.

The Davide administration is not keen on spending money for the repair of the building because the facility is a “monument of corruption,” being a subject of a pending case filed before the Ombudsman involving former governor, now third district representative Gwendolyn Garcia.

This led Garcia and lawyer Ervin Estandarte to file charges against Davide for alleged criminal neglect. Garcia said Davide instead “exploit” the facility for “political sloganeering”. —/FPL (FREEMAN)

 

ACIRC BANNER BUT THE CEBUANOS CAPITOL AND THE CHRISTIAN CEBU GOVERNOR HILARIO DAVIDE CEBU INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTER CITY OF MANDAUE ERVIN ESTANDARTE ETHEL NATERA GARCIA JESUS REIGNS
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