PNP slams ‘digital graffiti’ on wall of historic Camp Crame
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) laments the “digital graffiti” posted by the Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP) on a wall of Camp Crame, considered a historic site for standing witness to the 1986 People Power Revolution.
Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, PNP spokesperson, on Tuesday tagged the actions of the CAP as “deplorable” as the timing of the protest art coincided with the 34th anniversary celebration of the Edsa Revolution.
“The PNP laments the latest expressive attack by vandals on the walls of Camp BGen Rafael T. Crame,” Banac told INQUIRER.net in a text message.
On Monday night, CAP posted a digital form of graffiti — using projectors — showing a wanted poster bearing a headshot of President Rodrigo Duterte. Under Duterte’s image were the words “terrorist” and “traitor,” in reference to the bloody war against illegal drugs and his administration’s preference for China.
But CAP defended the graffiti in a Facebook post, saying: “This is part of a collective campaign of artists and cultural workers called Artists Fight Back, which aims to expose the government’s accountability for the successive attacks to our freedom of expression and public participation, civil and human rights, socio-economic and environmental rights, and democracy.”
Camp Crame played a major role in the last days of the revolution, serving as the safe house of military defectors — led by then Lt. Gen. Fidel V. Ramos, Armed Forces of the Philippine vice chief of staff, and then Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile.
Outside the camp, which is now the national headquarters of the PNP, crowds massed on request of the late Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin to shield the military rebels from government forces trying to retake Camp Crame and Camp Aguinaldo.
“Much as we respect the freedom of the vandals to express their sentiments, we believe this freedom has limits and must not step beyond national interest,” Banac said.
Making graffiti — especially by militant and protest groups — have been controversial recently after another group, the Panday Sining, posted leftist messages on the newly-painted Lagusnilad underpass in Manila.
Panday Sining’s actions prompted Manila Mayor Isko Moreno to declare the group’s members as persona non grata, but activists say that it was merely a crackdown on progressives as graffiti by other groups had not been called out.
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