Politicians are allowed to campaign during the Araw ng Davao, particularly on the Parada Dabawenyo highlight.
A City Hall official confirmed that senatorial candidates in the mid-term elections – all running under the administration party — will be joining in the socio-civic military parade for the 82nd Araw ng Dabaw celebration on March 16.
Acting City Treasurer Erwin Alparaque, who is the in-charge of the parade, said six candidates endorsed by Hugpong ng Pagbabago of Mayor Sara Duterte sent applications to join the parade.
“There will be senatorial candidates who signified their intention to join the parade, mostly from the Hugpong slate,” Alparaque said in an interview during Monday’s flag raising ceremony at the City Hall grounds.
Among the candidates who confirmed to join the parade included Bong Revilla, Sonny Angara, and Zajid “Dong” Mangudadatu. The three other candidates were not named. Each will have their respective float.
Alparaque said the parade is open to everyone, including candidates from the opposition party. However, he said none of the Otso Diretso candidates submitted an entry.
“This is a socio, civic, and military parade and everyone can join but we have already set our deadline (last) Friday and (no opposition candidate) sent their entries.” Alparaque said stressing that the March 8 deadline has been announced since the promotion started.
Mayor Duterte, under the group Hugpong ng Pagbabago, has been supporting the pro-administration candidates.
But Alparaque clarified that all parade entries – political candidates or private entity contingents — are not allowed to give freebies and other materials from the floats.
“They are allowed to attend the parade given that the campaign period has begun but they are not allowed to throw away campaign materials in the float while the parade is ongoing,” Alparaque explained.
This measure is to avoid the tendency of people to flock on the road and hamper the flow of the parade.
“All of the contingents may distribute paraphernalia only on the sidelines of the parade not at the parade route,” Alparaque said.
More floats are expected in this year’s parade.
Alparaque said they received 380 parade applications on Friday’s deadline. Last year, there were around 330 entries.
“We are already fixing the order of the parade,” he said.