Plaza Pershing, other public places off limit to pol rallies PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 13:31

By VIC LARATO

Except for the expanded R.T. Lim (Cawa-Cawa) Boulevard, the city’s historic Plaza Pershing and other public places are off limit to and cannot be used as venues of political rallies.

In the past, Plaza Pershing, which is located right in the heart of the city, was a favorite venue for proclamation rallies of all contending political parties, considering its accessibility to the public.

However, Dr. Elmeir Apolinario, officer-in-charge of the City Administrator’s Office, said since the 2010 elections to this year’s, the city government does not allow the use of Plaza Pershing for political rallies for several reasons, but primarily due to security risk and traffic congestion.

Similarly, he said other public parks and gardens like Plaza Roma (fronting Plaza Pershing), Plaza Rizal (fronting City Hall), Paseo del Mar, Plaza del Pilar are also off limit to political rallies.

Dr. Apolinario, who is the department head of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office and concurrent OIC city administrator, said the decision to prohibit political rallies in those places was reached even before the campaign period started.

“We sat down together with the police, Task Force Zamboanga and other security forces to discuss many issues, among them were the requests of several political groups for permit to rally at Plaza Pershing. We assessed and re-assessed all the requests, and we all decided to deny them,” Apolinario told the press briefing Monday in City Hall.

Nonetheless, he said the city government offered R.T. Lim (Cawa-Cawa) Boulevard as alternative rally site.— Vic Larato