Supporters of veteran actress Ai-Ai Delas Alas are wondering if she’d still be able to work for GMA after the Quezon City Council approved a resolution declaring her and VinCentiment director Darryl Yap “persona non grata” or “unwelcome person” over a video disrespecting the city’s official seal.
The main GMA Network’s main building is located in Kamuning, Quezon City.
Outgoing Quezon City District 4 Councilor Ivy Lagman proposed the resolution after Yap and Delas Alas collaborated in making a parody video about incumbent Quezon City mayor Joy Belmonte.
“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,” she said.
“The people of Quezon City will not let anyone disgrace the official seal of Quezon City for personal and selfish interests,” she added.
Behind the actress was the seal of the city with the text “BBM” and “Sara” instead of “LUNGSOD QUEZON PILIPINAS.” The video was made to campaign for Quezon City mayoral candidate Anakalusugan partylist Rep. Mike Defensor.
Yap is fine with the city’s decision to brand him “persona non grata” but is worried about the actress.
“To be fair, ayoko naman magmukhang nagmamalaki pa ako kahit sabihin ko na hindi ako taga-Quezon City because I’m from Mandaluyong. I have a condo in Mandaluyong and in Taguig pero I have friends in Quezon City. I have clients in Quezon City. So will it affect me? I think so,” he told SMNI news on June 7.
“But Nanay Ai-Ai, si Ma’am Ai-Ai delas Alas po is a resident of Quezon City. I think she will be surprised. Nasa Amerika siya ngayon,” he added.
Delas Alas is also a resident of Quezon City. Fortunately, the city only approved a resolution and not an ordinance. Lagman clarified that after June 30, Belmonte would have nothing to do with it; therefore, Yap and Delas Alas are still allowed in Quezon.
Atty. Gideon Pena explained it briefly on Twitter.
A declaration of a persona non grata status in the Philippines against a Filipino simply means that a person is not welcome in the place that declared such status. But it does not mean that said person cannot actually go there.
Refer to Art. III, Sec. 6 of the Constitution. ⚖️
— Gideon V. Peña (@attygideon) June 8, 2022
Lagman wants both of them to apologize, so the resolution is lifted.
Delas Alas’ lawyer, Charo Rejuso-Munsayac, made a statement on the issue on June 9.
“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.
“The video was obviously intended to be watched and taken as a whole, all elements being fictitious, including the seal behind the character portrayed by my client,” Rejuso-Munsayac said. “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 added.
She said the resolution is a “form of cancellation.”
“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,” the actress’ lawyer told members of the council.