23 Oct 2012
- By Emmanuel T. Erediano - Reporter
THE roadside waving that U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan and his wife Andrea held at the San Jose intersection yesterday was interrupted by a Department of Public Land employee who told them to leave.Holding their signs, Sablan and his wife started waving to motorists at around 4 p.m. About 10 to 15 minutes later, a DPL vehicle pulled over and a woman who said she worked for the department approached them and told the couple: “You cannot stand here. It’s a political sign,” referring to the signs they were holding.
Sablan was not able to get the DPL staffer’s name.
He said even when he told her that he had a permit and that his sign was not “stationary,” the DPL staffer insisted: “You can’t put political signs here.”
About two weeks ago, Gov. Benigno R. Fitial and other supporters of his Republican Party, which included DPL acting Secretary Ramon Salas, put up a long line of political signs in the same area on Beach Road, but no one from the department told them not to do so.
In Puerto Rico, the stationary political signs of GOP’s Precinct 3 House candidates are blocking the site of the school bus stop.
Many Precinct 3 residents have already brought up this concern because it poses a hazard to children waiting for the bus, but the complaints have fallen on deaf ears.
Sablan said he complies with the rules and makes sure he positions his signs six feet from the road.
He said when the DPL staffer continued to insist that he could not display his sign, Sablan told her: “Arrest me.” The DPL staffer replied: “No we can’t do that.”
“I told her, ’I am not going to move. I am not stopping my waving,” Sablan said.
He urged the people of the CNMI: “Don’t be afraid. Don’t be intimated. This is our island. Don’t violate the law. Speak your mind.”
Sablan and his wife continued waving to motorists until 5:30 p.m.
He is running against the governor’s candidate, former Kagman Elementary School principal Ignacia T. Demapan.