By Erma Edera
Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso issued a warning that those who will be caught writing on the walls in the nation’s capital will be made to lick their writings clean.
“Kapag nahuli ko kayo, ipadidila ko sa inyo ito, (If I catch you, I will ask you to lick these writings),” Domagoso said.
This, after the newly-painted Lagusnilad underpass was vandalized with messages of protest written by a cultural group on Tuesday.
On the same day, personnel from the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) and Department of Public Services (DPS) repainted the walls of the underpass.
Domagoso said that it took 15 years before the local government was finally able to clean the underpass to make it more accessible for commuters.
“Ang ganda ganda na eh. Ang linis na. It took 15 years for that underpass to be attended [to]. Nobody attended to that underpass,” he added.
“Kayo ang nambababoy eh. Hindi makatwiran ‘yan. We don’t deserve this. The people of Manila don’t deserve this,” Domagoso said.
The local government of Manila also reminded the public that there is an existing ordinance against vandalism known as the Ordinance No. 7971 or the Anti-Vandalism Law of 1999.
Any person caught violating the ordinance will pay a fine of not less than P1, 000 but not more than P5, 000 or imprisonment of not less than six months nor more than one year or both fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court.
On the other hand, cultural youth group Panday Sining has already apologized for writing a protest statement on the walls of Lagusnilad underpass.
“Sorry for the inconvenience, but the matter and issues at hand are urgent. That is why Panday Sining, a cultural organization of the youth, conducted its Graffiesta as a response to this worsening economic and political state of the nation,” the group said in a statement.
Panday Sining also said that they are willing to talk with Domagoso “as he shares the same sentiment about wanting just and lasting peace.”
“We understand and recognize the sentiments of the public, but it is also high time that we talk about the worsening attacks to our democratic rights. The purpose of our protest art isn’t to spite the citizens of Manila but to sound the alarm of the public against these injustices,” the group said.
The group drew flak from netizens and people in Manila, after the newly-painted Lagusnilad underpass was vandalized with graffiti, painted in red that called for the lowering of prices of basic goods and the increase of daily salaries.