Department of Public Lands compliance officers allegedly tried to stop Delegate Gregorio Kilili Sablan (Ind-MP) and his wife Andrea from road waving near the Microl intersection in San Jose late yesterday afternoon, but DPL acting secretary Ray Salas said it was “not a political harassment” but a matter of checking to see whether the incumbent delegate was following DPL rules related to campaign signs.
The Sablan couple started their road waving around 4pm. They were holding campaign signs.
Sablan said that minutes later, DPL employees approached them asking them to stop because they didn't have a permit.
He said there was no political signboard to speak of, and the only “Vote Kilili” signs around were the ones he and his wife were holding. Sablan said his campaign has permits for their permanent election signs and knows the law about campaign signs and billboards.
Sablan said there was no reason for DPL to stop him and his wife from standing beside the road and wave at passing motorists, a common practice among candidates. The election is on Nov. 6.
“DPL came and said, 'you can't stand here. It's a political sign. I said I have permit, the signs are not stationary,” he told reporters in an interview near the Microl intersection late afternoon yesterday. “She said, you can't put political signs.' I said two Sundays ago, the governor had a long line of political signs. The lady was nice, she said, 'we're off on Sundays.'”
The DPL staff left the Sablan couple after things were clarified.
The DPL acting secretary, in a separate interview with Saipan Tribune, said DPL compliance officers were just trying to see if rules about political signs were being complied with.
“There's no political harassment here. My staff said she saw a political signboard. This is no big deal. The DPL staff is just doing her job,” Salas said.
Sablan's opponent in the upcoming elections is Dr. Ignacia Demapan of the Republican Party headed by Gov. Benigno R. Fitial who doesn't see eye to eye with Sablan on a host of issues.