Manila city council declares Panday Sining ‘persona non grata’

Rambo Talabong
The resolution comes after the artist group riled Manila Mayor Isko Moreno for spray-painting on the walls along United Nations Avenue and the Lagusnilad Pass

PROTEST OR VANDALISM? A text in paint by Panday Sining on the wall of Araullo High School in Manila. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Members of artist group Panday Sining have been declared as “persona non grata” by the Manila city council, the Manila Public Information Office announced on Friday, December 6.

“Manila City Council passes resolution declaring militant group ‘Panday Sining’ as persona non grata in the nation’s capital,” the office tweeted.

The resolution came after the group riled Manila Mayor Isko Moreno by leaving a trail of painted texts on the walls along United Nations Avenue and the Lagusnilad Pass – two high-traffic passages near Manila City Hall.

This is the first resolution by the Moreno-allied council which declared an entity as unwelcome in the city.

On Bonifacio Day, November 30, 4 members of the group were detained by the Manila Police District after reportedly getting caught spray-painting messages calling for an end to political repression on train posts in Recto Avenue.

To help the artists post bail, artists and activists have begun a fundraising campaign by calling for donations and selling art depicting the struggle of poor and working class Filipinos. –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.