By Chito Chavez
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has scored the group that vandalized the walls of Lagusnilad underpass in Manila as it urged the country’s local government units (LGU) to impose appropriate sanctions as mandated in their respective ordinances against vandalism in line with the #DisiplinaMuna campaign of the department.
DILG Undersecretary and spokesman Jonathan Malaya described as deplorable the vandalism committed on the newly refurbished Lagusnilad underpass.
“LGUs should, therefore, see to it that they strictly enforce their laws on vandalism so that vandals will face the consequences of their actions,” Malaya said.
He asked the LGUs to “revisit and ensure the implementation of their ordinances sanctioning vandalism and to make use of their closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in identifying and catching vandals.’’
Malaya also requested the Philippine National Police (PNP) to apprehend those found violating the laws and ordinances.
In expressing his disgust, Malaya stressed that vandalism is a form of malicious mischief under Article 327 of the Revised Penal Code that includes the act of causing damage to a property or any other thing used in common by the public.
He cited Marikina City for having few cases of vandalism because of its effective anti-vandalism drive in its locality and its ordinance that fines violators.
Reports revealed that Marikina City had only three people apprehended for violation in 2018.
He pointed out that there are many ways to express one’s views on social concerns and that should not include dirtying up public places or properties.
“While we respect the rights of these organizations to express their views and opinion, that right is not absolute,’’ Malaya noted.
“With the advent of social media, vandalism like this has directed attention to the obnoxiousness of their method rather than the meaning of their message,” he added.
He urged “these organizations to instead focus their energies to cleaning up their barangays, Manila Bay Clean Up, anti-smoking campaign and other worthwhile activities rather than doing vandalism that actually helps no one’’.
The DILG has also ordered all LGUs, through DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2019-181, to promote the #DisiplinaMuna national advocacy campaign that aims to re-build the culture of discipline among Filipinos, especially the youth, as a means of fostering people’s participation which is one of the tenets of good governance.
The said campaign was recently launched by the DILG together with the city government of Manila.
Malaya said the campaign aims to increase the consciousness among Filipinos of their critical role and responsibility in sustainable development and maintenance of law and order as a shared responsibility.
Among the Disiplina Muna Ambassadors are Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Coast Guard Auxiliary Lt. Cmdr. Diether Ocampo, Army 2nd Lt. Matteo Guidicelli, journalist and road safety advocate James Deakin, and journalist Jiggy Manicad.
Malaya said the Disiplina Muna campaign is initiated only by the Department but is “open source” and may be adopted by all organizations and is a whole-of-nation effort across the national and local governments, private sector, civil society, and the media. (Chito A. Chavez)