Police scold artists’ group over ‘digital vandalism’ on national headquarters’ walls

“Digital graffiti” outside Camp Crame, the Philippine National Police’s HQ <i>Photo: Concerned Artists of the Philippines / FB</i>
“Digital graffiti” outside Camp Crame, the Philippine National Police’s HQ Photo: Concerned Artists of the Philippines / FB

The Philippine National Police (PNP) slammed a critical image of President Rodrigo Duterte projected onto the entrance of Camp Crame in Quezon City as a “deplorable” act of “digital vandalism” coinciding with the 34th anniversary of the People Power Revolution.

PNP spokesman Police Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said in a statement that while the PNP respects the public’s freedom to express themselves, the same freedom has limits and should “not step beyond national interest.”

The projection in question was a “Wanted” poster featuring Duterte’s face and the Filipino words for “terrorist” and “treacherous” splashed across it. The rights group Concerned Artists of the Philippines posted a photo of the digital projection on their Facebook page on Monday night, along with a brief statement condemning what they characterized as the human rights abuses of the Duterte administration.

“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,” the group said.

DIGITAL GRAFFITI: Artists lit the walls of Camp Crame with digital images denouncing the various forms of human rights…

Posted by Concerned Artists of the Philippines on Monday, February 24, 2020

The group also burned effigies of Duterte and late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in Mendiola, Manila on the same day.

Comprised of artists and cultural workers, the group was co-founded by National Artist for Cinema Lino Brocka in 1983. Brocka was known for directing films loaded with social commentary on the plight of ordinary Filipinos, such as Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag (“Manila in the Claws of Light”). 

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