Filipina actresses

Ai-Ai delas Alas’ camp says persona non grata resolution ‘endangers’ freedom of expression
Ai-Ai delas Alas’ camp says persona non grata resolution ‘endangers’ freedom of expression

PERSONA NON GRATA. The actress' camp 'strongly condemns' the resolution naming her persona non grata in Quezon City over a social media video.

Rob Reyes/ Rappler

The actress was named 'persona non grata' over a video posted on social media which shows Quezon City's official seal altered to read 'BBM SARA'

MANILA, Philippines – Ai-Ai delas Alas’ lawyer has responded to the resolution declaring her persona non grata in Quezon City, saying it “endangers” freedom of expression.

“We strongly condemn this act of the Quezon City Council which endangers the protection granted by the freedom of expression for artists, entertainers, content creators, and comedians who use satire or parody to express sentiments or criticize public acts or figures,” said Delas Alas’ attorney Charo Rejuso-Munsayac in a statement quoted on Bandera.

Delas Alas was declared persona non grata alongside director Darryl Yap, over a video where they supposedly “disrespected” Quezon City’s official seal. 

The video, published on Yap’s Facebook page VinCentiments, showed Delas Alas portraying a character named Ligaya Delmonte – an apparent reference to Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte. In the background of the video is the city’s official triangular seal, altered to read “BBM SARA” – referring to president-elect Bongbong Marcos and vice president-elect Sara Duterte, whom Delas Alas supported in the May elections.

In her statement, Munsayac said that the video was clearly a parody, and “is clearly not meant to be taken seriously by the audience.”

“It is unfortunate that the city council is nitpicking to find basis to curb freedom of expression in the guise of defending a perceived dishonor,” she said.

She added that their camp will be monitoring statements made against Delas Alas, and that they believe the resolution does not physically affect the actress.

Quezon City District IV Councilor Ivy Lagman, who filed the resolution, earlier told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the resolution does not ban Delas Alas or Yap from entering Quezon City, and that it was simply “symbolic.”

She also said that their status as persona non grata can be lifted following a “public, sincere apology” from the actress and director. –