Press Release
November 5, 2007


"Don't do another PP1017"

Senate Majority Leader and Independent Senator Kiko Pangilinan today joined the growing number of artists decrying the alleged desecration of a mural that was installed at the National Press Club building in Manila.

The Neo-Angono Artists Collective, a group of artists commissioned by the NPC to do the 8x32 mural depicting then history of press freedom in the country, said their artwork was "bastardized" and altered without their consent after members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) inspected it two days before being unveiled by President Gloria Arroyo during the NPC's 55 th anniversary on October 26 2007.

"If allegations that the PSG meddled with the NPC mural prove to be true, then we must not tolerate this brazen censorship. The PSG must be made to account for intruding on a supposed apolitical journalism group and explain under what right it imposed such restrictions on NPC. Is this another PP1017?" Kiko, a former broadcast journalist and legal correspondent, asked.

"What's ironic now is that the NPC mural really is indeed a symbol of the state of press freedom in the country�literally and figuratively! We cannot cover up the condition of press freedom in the Philippines if reality tells us more or less 18 journalists have perished while performing their duties and the nation is on the list of the five most dangerous places on earth to practice the journalism profession. We can't paint a rosy picture of press freedom just to suit the eye of the President. If we want to see a better depiction of press freedom then let's work on putting an end to journalist killings and other threats to the media," Kiko ended.

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