Petition to sue Panday Sining over vandalism gains public support

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MANILA — Over 9,000 people have signed a petition calling on Manila City government to pursue legal action against cultural youth group Panday Sining’s vandalism in the Philippine capital’s public spaces. The petition, initiated by Hands Off Our Children Movement, wants to punish Panday Sining for defacing the walls in Metro Manila.

“Panday Sining vandalized some parts in the City of Manila. They have since justified [these] actions as a form of protest ‘art’ to the dismay of so many Filipinos,” the petition read.

“With this petition, we intend to request the City of Manila to pursue legal action against the groups who did this [vandalism],” it added.

The petition was filed to prove that the Manila City government has the support of “a large number of Filipinos who [have] have grown tired and fed up with their (Panday Sining) activism.’”

As of posting time, the petition uploaded on online petition site change.org has 9,198 signatures.

Panday Sining, the cultural arm of Anakbayan, has been in hot water after they marred the recently-painted Lagusnilad Underpass with anti-government graffiti.

The underpass was painted with red phrases that stressed the need for the Philippines’ independence; advocates for a war against martial law; and calls for the lower commodity prices and higher basic pay.

Panday Sining already apologized for vandalizing Lagusnilad Underpass, but Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso rejected the apology.

The petition says Panday Sining should be held accountable to “reclaim the dignity of our laws they have trampled upon.”

It notes that Panday Sining has been defying the laws even prior to the recent vandalism incident.

It stresses that the youth group has been defacing the walls in the country’s metropolis with the help of its affiliated groups such as Anakbayan, League of Filipino Students, Kabataan Party-list, and many other legal fronts of the communist movement.

“It was only this event that got the most attention considering that the underpass that they vandalized was recently rehabilitated by the newly-installed Mayor, after decades of neglect,” the petition emphasized.

The Manila City government’s Ordinance 7971, which penalizes any person who vandalizes public and private property, remains in effect. A violator will face 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.

Domagoso earlier warned that a vandal who will be caught painting the walls with anti-government protests will be forced to lick his work.

Despite Domagoso’s stern warning, Panday Sining proceeded with its so-called “Graffiti art” by painting protest slogans on a telecom box near the Manila City Hall and on the walls of Araullo High School in Manila. -PNA

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