DECEMBER 6, 2019 — Left-wing activist Panday Sining is now unwelcome in the capital city Manila after local officials declared the spray-painting group persona non grata.
In a tweet posted by Manila Public Information Office, Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso has signed a resolution declaring the group “persona non grata” in the city.
— Manila Public Information Office (@ManilaPIO) December 6, 2019
This comes after a series of vandalism incidents in the city despite the mayor’s warning.
Anakbayan protested the declaration as a form of harassment and a violation of the members’ rights under a “de facto Martial Law of the Duterte regime.”
“These drastic measures demonstrate that the regime’s knees are shaking. The heavy-handed treatment against Panday Sining proves that protest art is more necessary as democratic spaces for dissent become narrower than ever before,” said the group in a statement.
Panday Sining is the cultural arm of Anakbayan.
Four members of the group had been arrested for vandalizing walls of Light Rail Transit posts during the commemoration of Bonifacio Day last November 30.
Panday Sining initially reaped criticism from Moreno after spraypainting anti-China messages on the walls of the newly-painted Lagunsilad underpass.
Francis Joven, a representative of Panday Sining,said the graffiti painted in the Lagusnilad underpass is a form of art.
The group also said they are aware of the legal repercussions in every art they share to the public.