DILG chief to cops: Arrest the vandals | Inquirer News

DILG chief to cops: Arrest the vandals

Panday Sining vows to continue making art for the people
Panday Sining

READ BETWEEN THE LINES Passers by are greeted by yet another graffiti on a wall along Taft Avenue in Manila, purportedly spray-painted by Panday Sining, in defiance of warnings by authorities. —MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

MANILA, Philiippines — Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Wednesday ordered policemen to run after vandals spray-painting government property as he justified the arrest of four members of a cultural group who allegedly defaced a Light Rail Transit post in Manila.

But the group, Panday Sining, vowed to continue “making art” for the public in protest of the killings of peasants, arrest of activists and violent dispersal of laborers.


Año, lamenting that vandals have been spoiling government efforts in ensuring a clean environment, tasked the Philippine National Police with going after all vandals “for their utter disregard of the law and defacement of government properties.”

He justified as lawful the arrest of four Panday Sining members who allegedly defaced an LRT post on C.M. Recto Avenue in Manila on the eve of Bonifacio Day, Saturday.


The holiday celebrates the life of revolutionary Andres Bonifacio.

A؜ño also blamed the group for the antigovernment graffiti on a telecommunications box near the Manila city hall and the walls of the the Araullo high school.

The group had been tagged in last month’s defacement of the Lagusnilad underpass in Manila.

“They have been repeatedly warned and now they will face the consequences of their actions,” Año said in a statement.

In response, Panday Sining urged Año to read the message in their artworks, instead of ordering their arrest.

“This won’t in any way hinder our mission to continue making art for the people,” the group’s secretary general Orly Putong said.

In a text message to Inquirer, he claimed that the country had been placed “under a de facto martial law” after last year’s issuance of Executive Order No. 70, which seeks to adopt a national framework to attain “inclusive and sustainable peace.”


“Activists are arbitrarily arrested, peasant leaders are killed, while union strikes are violently dispersed. The freedom they are talking about is actually an illusion, and our art actually aims to break that and show what is really happening,” Putong said.

Panday Sining also launched a campaign to raise money for the bail of its four members. It was putting up for sale artworks and organizing a fund-raising event, dubbed “Contraband.”

Año also accused the group of ignoring previous government warnings against vandalism.

“Instead of just stopping and heeding authorities, they continue to make a mess in the environment. It’s too much. It is just right that they are taught a lesson,” Año said.

“The group’s freedom of expression is recognized by the government, but this is bound by rules and regulations,” he added.

Jonathan Malaya, spokesperson of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, said even the public was outraged by the group’s antics, referring to online comments against vandalism and an online petition urging the Manila government to pursue legal action against Panday Sining.

“Even the people are fed up with your antics. Think of your actions and change while you’re young. Let’s exercise discipline on our own before we protest,” he said.

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TAGS: Eduardo Año, Panday Sining, vandalism
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