MANILA, Philippines — Comedian Ai Ai Delas Alas and Short Film Director Darryl Yap can still enjoy visiting the city of stars even after being declared ‘persona non grata’ by the Quezon City government.
The City council has previously backed Councilor Ivy Lagman’s resolution declaring Delas Alas and Yap as such after “disrespecting the city’s official seal” in a social media campaign video.
In the said video, Delas Alas was seen speaking as ‘Ligaya Delmonte’ impersonating Mayor Joy Belmonte, with the background of the Quezon City’s seal, but was altered with the name of BBM-SARA instead of the city name. It was also clear that the purpose of the video was to campaign for Mike Defensor, who lost the Mayoral race to Belmonte in the 2022 elections.
“The malicious and unscrupulous defacing of the official seal of Quezon City ridiculed and casted dishonor to it, causing insult to the noble representation of the seal.”Outgoing QC Councilor Ivy Lagman
Lagman also cited that the seal has been the city’s official coat of arms since it was approved by the Office of the President and adopted by the City Council on Feb. 3, 1997, through Resolution No. 10320, S-1975.
“The people of Quezon City will not let anyone disgrace the official seal of Quezon City for personal and selfish interests.”
Declaring Delas Alas and Yap as “persona non grata” means they are no longer welcome in Quezon City; however, in a recent interview, Lagman clarified that the action is just symbolic since banning Filipino citizens in a local city is not possible.
“Makakapunta po sila because this is just a resolution, hindi siya ordinance, wala siyang kaakibat na penalty. This is just our sentiments so puwede pa rin sila pumunta, puwede naman sila mag-transact but gusto lang namin ipaabot na ‘yung ginawa n’yong pambabastos saseal ng Quezon City, hindi siya acceptable sa mga tao sa Quezon City.”Outgoing QC Councilor Ivy Lagman
The outgoing District IV councilor, however, affirmed that lifting “persona non-grata” censure will only be viable if the next council permits it, but at the moment, she noted, “I don’t see it coming anytime soon because nagku-comment pa nga sila na ayaw nila mag-apologize.”
“Ang problema po kasi, masyado nang below the belt ‘yung mga hirit nila. Let us not normalize po ‘yung pagiging bastos. Sana iniisip din natin may mga bagay na off-limits na dapat hindi natin… binabastos katulad po ng seal ng Quezon City na isa pong simbolo ‘yan at isa pong pride po ‘yan, we take pride in that seal,” She added.
Meanwhile, Yap stressed that he does not have hard feelings towards the resolution.
“This Ligaya Delmonte is part of the colorful tactics in Philippine politics. I find it very immature. I find it very elementary. I find it very rudimentary for these politicians to actually take it personally; Sa palagay ko, mas marami silang mga ginawang hindi katanggap-tanggap para gawing unwelcome. Pero just like what I’ve said, lahat tayo ay may kalayaan. Kung ‘yan ang kanilang tingin o pakiwari o palagay, ako po ay walang magagawa duon.”Shortfilm Director Darryl Yap
(This Ligaya Delmonte is part of the colorful tactics in Philippine politics. I find it very immature. I find it very elementary. I find it very rudimentary for these politicians to take it personally; I think they did more unacceptable things to make them unwelcome. But just like what I’ve said, we all have freedom. If that’s what they think or feel, I can’t do anything about it.)
Yap previously answered ‘Yoko nga’ (I don’t want to) When asked to apologize for defacing the QC logo. In a recent interview, he said he is only willing to apologize to the logo itself.
“Public officials and public offices are subject to spoof and satire. Kung ang na-offend namin ang seal o logo, willing ako mag-apologize sa
logo o seal.”
(Public officials and public offices are subject to spoof and satire. If we offended the seal or logo, I’m willing to apologize to the logo or seal)
In a recent statement, Delas Alas and her lawyer, Charo Rejuso-Munsayac, decried the act that was imposed on the comedian.
“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. 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,” Munsayac said.
“As public officers, the members of the Quezon City council should be more prudent and circumspect in the exercise of their discretion and should not take hasty actions which could adversely affect my client and cause undue anxiety to her family and friends,” She added.￼
Delas Alas ’camp mentioned that they will monitor every statement against the comedian to ensure her rights are protected.
Delas Alas has a ‘Hello Kitty’ house in Quezon City and works at GMA 7, located at the Kamuning Rd, QC, and Yap mentioned that he has clients in the city.