Mayor Isko Moreno Rejects Youth Group Apology Over Underpass Vandalism

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso has rejected the apology of cultural youth group Panday Sining which defaced the newly-painted and cleaned Lagusnilad Underpass located near the Manila City Hall.

In a video message, Domagoso said Panday Sining’s act, which the group considered as a “form of art,” is unacceptable.

“Humihingi daw kayo ng tawad. Sabi niyo doon sa ano, sa ano ‘yun, Facebook account ninyo (You are allegedly seeking forgiveness. You asked for it on your Facebook account),” Domagoso said in a video uploaded Friday on Facebook page named Isko Moreno Supporters.

“Gusto niyo ng real talk? Hindi kayo dadami. Bakit? Kinamumuhian kayo ng tao eh. Bakit kayo kamumuhian? Tama ang layunin ninyo eh pero mali ang pamamaraan ninyo (Do you want to have a real talk? You will not gain support. Why? Because the people hate you, why do they hate you? Your intention is acceptable but your way of doing it is unacceptable),” he added.

Panday Sining, the cultural arm of Anakbayan, recently earned the ire of the Filipino netizens and Manila residents after Lagusnilad Underpass was painted with anti-government graffiti.

The underpass was painted with red phrases that highlights the need for the Philippines’ independence; advocates for a war against martial law; and calls for the lowering of prices of basic good and increase in salaries.

Panday Sining, on its Facebook page, apologized on Tuesday for vandalizing Lagusnilad Underpass, but stressed that the Left-leaning declarations were “a response to these worsening economic and political state of the nation.”

The youth group also expressed willingness to talk with the Manila City Mayor “as he shares the same sentiment about wanting just and lasting peace.”

Use other platforms to express grievances

Domagoso rejected the apology, saying that he could not accept the fact that Panday Sining defaced the walls of Lagusnilad Underpass, which was cleaned as part of the city’s cleanup and rehabilitation efforts.

He said vandalizing the Manila City walls is not the proper way of urging the local government to protect the aggrieved and the poor.

“Maaliwalas na para gamitin ng mga ordinaryong taong sabi ninyo, ipinaglalaban ninyo. Una, sino ba ang humingi ng tulong sa inyo para ipaglaban ninyo sila? You volunteered yourself para ipaglaban niyo daw sila (It was already cleared so the ordinary citizens, whom you are fighting for, can use it. First, who asked for your help to fight for them? You volunteered yourself to allegedly fight for them),” he said.

“Ah, ikinalulugod ninyo na ganyan ang hitsura? Ano naman ang kasalanan namin sa inyo bilang mga taga-Maynila? Kayo po. Kayo ang sumagot (You are pleased that the walls were defaced? What did Manila residents do to receive such kind of treatment? Answer it),” Domagoso added.

Domagoso said the youth group can wield their right to free speech through the use of other platforms like Facebook.

He said the group is free to express their grievances, as long as it is done in an acceptable manner.

“Tanong: Pinagbabawalan ko ba kayong i-express ninyo ang inyong mga [sarili]. Hindi po. Manawa kayo. Ang dami sa Facebook oh. May Facebook account kayo. Eh bakit hindi niyo doon tirahin? Wala na kayong naperwisyo, na-express niyo pa ang sarili ninyo (Question: Do I prohibit you from expressing yourself? No. You have your freedom. Use Facebook to criticize. You can do that without inconveniencing the public, while you are expressing yourself),” he said.

The walls of the Lagusnilad Underpass were repainted on the same day Panday Sining wrote the protest statements.

The Manila City government’s Anti-Vandalism ordinance, Ordinance 7971, is still in effect.

The ordinance prohibits any person from defacing public and private property. A violator will pay a fine of up to PHP5,000 or imprisonment of up to one year, or both fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court. (PNA)
Photo Credit: facebook.com/iskomorenodomagoso

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