DILG hits Lagusnilad vandalism; wants sanctions vs vandals

Robie de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday slammed the youth group that vandalized the newly-refurbished walls of the Lagusnilad underpass in Manila, describing the act as deplorable.

“Nakakahiya ang ginawang pambababoy sa Lagusnilad pagkatapos itong linisin at ayusin ng Manila City Government,” DILG spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a statement.

He said that vandalism is a form of malicious mischief under Article 327 of the Revised Penal Code.

Malaya also pointed out that there are many ways to express views on social concerns that do 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. Ang karapatan ay may hangganan at kaakibat na responsibilidad. ‘Di na nga kayo nakatulong, ‘wag na sanang mamerwisyo pa ng iba,” he said.

“With the advent of social media, vandalisms like this have directed attention to the obnoxiousness of their method rather than the meaning of their message,” he added.

Cultural group Panday Sining has apologized for spray painting protest statements on the walls of Lagusnilad underpass.

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, who was irked by the group’s action, earlier issued a stern warning against those who will be caught vandalizing the wall.

“Change cannot be realized by the government alone. Tulad na lang ng bandalismo. Hindi biro ang pagpapapintura at pagsasaayos ng mga public walls and properties. Samantalang sa ilang segundo lamang ay napakadali ang pagsira nito ng mga nagbabandalismo. Sayang ang pondong puwede sanang ilaan sa iba pang proyektong makapagpapabuti sa buhay ng nakakarami,” Malaya lamented.

Instead of doing vandalisms, he urged groups to get involved in barangay clean-up, anti-smoking campaigns, and other worthwhile activities.

The DILG official also urged local government units (LGU) to revisit and ensure the strict implementation of respective ordinances against vandalism.

“LGUs should, therefore, see to it that they strictly enforce their laws on vandalism so that vandals will face the consequences of their actions,” he said, adding that LGUs should make use of their closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras to identify and catch vandals.

The department also called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to apprehend those found violating laws and ordinances.

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