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Ai-Ai Delas Alas' Lawyer: 'Persona Non-Grata' Tag Imperils Free Speech

It's a "form of cancellation."
by Pia Regalado
Just now
Photo/s: Facebook/VinCentiments

Comedienne Ai-Ai delas Alas' lawyer said Wednesday the Quezon City council imperiled artists' freedom of expression when they tagged her client as "persona non-grata" over a political satire video.

The censure of Delas Alas amounts to "cancellation", which could harm the livelihood of creatives, said lawyer Charo Rejuso-Munsayac. The city council tagged the comedienne and director Darryl Yap as "non-grata" for spoofing reelected Mayor Joy Belmonte in a campaign video.


What Does 'Persona Non-Grata' Mean in the Philippines?

Can 'Persona Non-Grata' Ai-Ai delas Alas, Darryl Yap Enter QC?

"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," Rejuso-Munsayac said in a statement released on Facebook.

"This also endangers their livelihood since it appears to be a form of cancellation making them wary to take on similar works in fear that public officials will retaliate in similar fashion."

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Rejuso-Munsayac said the city council shouldn't act hastily which could cause "undue anxiety" to her client.

Outgoing councilor Ivy Lagman earlier said that the resolution was symbolic in nature and may be dropped by the next city council if Delas Alas and filmmaker Yap apologize for their actions.

Despite this, the comedienne's lawyer said they would monitor "every statement made against her to ensure that my client’s rights are protected."

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