Dialogue with Panday Sining a waste of time — Mayor Isko

Marje Pelayo   •   November 18, 2019   •   1107

MANILA, Philippines – A resolute Mayor Isko Domagoso has turned down the request for dialogue of Panday Sining even after the activist group apologized for vandalizing the newly painted walls of Lagusnilad Underpass.

The group claimed what they did was not a form of vandalism but an art of expressing their sentiments against the government for allegedly suppressing their freedom.

They argued that last year, they launched a program called ‘graffiesta’ which encourages the public to express their sentiments through writing in public spaces just like what they did in Lagusnilad Underpass.

Panday Sining believes Mayor Isko shares the same goal of lasting peace in the city thus they are asking for an audience with him, which Domagoso deliberately turned down.

“Para ano? Para ubusin ko ang oras ko imbis na bigyan ko ng atensyon ang ibang mahahalagang bagay na kakailanganin ng taong bayan?,” the Mayor said in annoyance.

(For what? To waste my time instead of attending to important matters that the people need?)

“Pinakialaman ko ba sila sa karapatan nila? Hindi. Malaya kayo sa Maynila. Pero wala kayong karapatan na babuyin kami sa Maynila,” he added.

(Did I suppress their rights? No. You are free to explore Manila. But you don’t have the right to mess us up here in Manila.)

Domogoso expressed anger over the group’s waste of public funds because the local government needed to repaint the walls with the money allotted for medicine and the city’s housing project for the poor.

The Mayor is determined to file charges against anyone who will follow what the militant group did in vandalizing the walls of Manila. – MNP (with details from Bernard Dadis)

Manila City gov’t breaks ground for ‘Tondominium’ projects

Marje Pelayo   •   June 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The City Government of Manila has initiated the construction of two public housing projects in Vitas, Tondo. 

The housing project dubbed as ‘Tondominium 1’ and ‘Tondominium 2’ is worth nearly P1 billion and is expected to be finished in two years.

According to the Manila Urban Settlements Office, Tondominium 1 and 2 would be able to accommodate about 336 families.

Each unit will have two bedrooms and an area of 44 square meters.

“Today is the start of the new era, the new beginning that in every open space that we can make available, it will be built with housing in the City of Manila,” Domagoso said in his speech during the groundbreaking ceremony which also marks the start of the successive construction projects of the city government under its #BuildBuildManila program.

Aside from housing projects, the city government is ready for the groundbreaking this month ‘Binondominium,’ Bagong Ospital ng Maynila and the Bagong Manila Zoo. 

The groundbreaking ceremony which took place on Monday (June 1) was led by Manila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso together with Vice Mayor Ma. Shielah ‘Honey’ Lacuna-Pangan.

Panday Sining calls ‘persona non-grata’ declaration a human rights violation

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 9, 2019

Artists’ group Panday Sining said it is considered a human rights violation for the Manila City Council to declare them ‘persona non-grata’ for defacing walls in Manila.

“Hindi na lamang ito usapin ng protest art versus vandalism or graffiti or what not. Usapin na ito ng malayang pamamahayag sa panahon na tinatanggalan ng karapatan iyong mga mamayang Pilipino (This is not just an issue about protest art versus vandalism, or graffiti or what not. This is an issue about free speech in a time where Filipino citizens’ rights are being taken away),” according to Panday Sining.

On December 6, the Manila City Council passed a resolution “declaring the militant group ‘Panday Sining’ as persona non-grata in the nation’s capital.”

Panday Sining is also calling for the release of its four members who were arrested on November 30 by authorities after they were caught vandalizing an LRT post at Recto station.—AAC (with reports from Bernard Dadis)

DILG tells PNP to arrest vandals

Robie de Guzman   •   December 4, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Interior Secretary Eduardo Año directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to go after all the vandals in the country for their “utter disregard of the law and defacement of government properties.”

Año issued the order following the arrest of four members of a left-leaning art group, Panday Sining, for vandalizing places in the city of Manila.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) chief called the arrest of the four activists “just and lawful.”

“Nagsusumikap ang gobyerno na magkaroon ng kaayusan at kalinisan pero binababoy nila. They have been repeatedly warned and now they will face the consequences of their actions,” he said in a statement.

In November, Manila City mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso warned the group that he would make them wipe their spray-painted messages with their tongue if he happens to catch them committing vandalism.

The group earned Mayor Isko’s ire after they spray-painted messages on the newly-painted walls of Lagusnilad underpass and UN Avenue.

But instead of heeding the government’s warning, Año pointed out that the group defied authorities and went on with their protest in different places in Manila.

The DILG chief said members of the group spray-painted messages on a telecom box near the Manila City hall, the walls of Araullo High School in Manila, and a concrete post of LRT-2 in Recto Avenue, among others.

“Imbes na tumigil, tuloy pa rin sila sa pagsasalaula nila sa kapaligiran. Hindi na sila nakikinig sa awtoridad. Sobra na. Tama na. Tama lang na maturuan sila ng leksyon para magtanda,” he said.

On Nov. 30, Saturday, four members of Panday Sining, namely, Joven Laura, Jeanne Vaughn Quijano, Mikhail Collado, and another minor, were arrested by the police after they were caught painting on the walls of LRT-2 during protest rallies marking Bonifacio Day.

Vandalism is a prohibited act in the City of Manila under Ordinance No. 7971 which imposes penalties on any person who defaces public and private property.

Panday Sining has called for the release of their members, and accused the police of manhandling their activists.

Año stressed that that while the government “respects their groups’ freedom of expression, such freedom is bounded by rules and regulations in order to ensure law and order.”

“Huwag ninyo namang gawing malaking drawing board o canvas ang Metro Manila. Maraming paraan para ipahayag ang inyong saloobin at hindi kasama doon ang walang habas ninyong pagpipinta sa mga pader ng Maynila,” he said.

The DILG chief also lamented that the arrested Panday Sining members are young people who are supposed to be focusing their time studying and making their parents proud.

“Huwag kayong magpaloko sa mga organisasyong makakaliwa at huwag ninyong sirain ang kinabukasan ninyo sa mga walang kuwentang gawain. Magsipagtapos kayo sa pag-aaral ninyo at tumulong kayo sa pamilya at bansa,”he said.

DILG spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya also said that the public is likewise “outraged” by the group’s recent actions as evidenced by negative comments on social media and an online petition initiated by a non-governmental group.

“Even the people are fed up with your antics. Mag-isip-isip na kayo at magbago na habang bata pa kayo. Disiplina muna bago po tayo magreklamo at magprotesta. Ang pagbabago’y nagsisimula sa sarili,”he said.

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