‘Books are not bullets, bombs’: QC bookstore decries vandalism

March 22, 2022 - 9:07 PM
The façade of Popular Bookstore in Quezon City was vandalized with anti-communist graffiti. (Facebook/Popular Bookstore)

The entrance of a bookstore in Quezon City was defaced with anti-communist writings on its facade and logo.

Popular Bookstore, an independent bookshop that carries rare titles, shared on Facebook that the store’s entrance was vandalized with graffiti that reads: “NPA Terorista.”

In a Facebook post on March 22, the management said that they found the graffiti when they were about to open their shop this morning.

“As we opened our store this morning, this message greeted us (see pix). Our reaction was not fear. It was more of dismay and exasperation,” the store management said.

“Books are not bullets and bombs. Books are for education and enlightenment. It is a repository of history and culture. It is what differentiates humankind from animals,” they added.

The store management also reminded the perpetrators that booksellers are for book lovers.

“To those responsible for this philistine act, we would like to reiterate that POPULAR BOOKSTORE is a bookseller to booklovers (obviously, you don’t belong),” it said.

They also thanked those who continued to support them.

“To our clients and friends, we thank you for your patronage and hope for your continuous support,” the management said.

Popular Bookstore was first opened along Doroteo Jose Street in Manila in 1946.

In its Facebook profile, it was stated that it is selling “books from both local and international publishers and authors.” Popular Bookstore also offers a wide array of choices and features many rare and hard-to-find books.

Patrons of the shop slammed those behind the red-tagging of the bookstore. They shared their sentiments in the comments section.

“I have been a patron of Popular Bookstore for decades since I was in college and it offered nothing but some of the best and hard to find books of world scholarship! Those who red tag this quaint bookstore know nothing of its history nor its immense contributions to Philippine intellectual life,” one Facebook user said.

“This bookstore simply holds many different kinds of books that support and criticize different perspectives and schools of Philippine thought…from Duterte, the Aquinos, communism, democracy… anyone can see them,” another Facebook user commented.

“I can now conclude that fascism or anti-communism under this regime equals anti-intellectualism!” another Facebook user shared.

Red-tagging is a practice of accusing a person, a group or even a store of being members of the communist rebellion despite the lack of evidence to prove it.

Over the years, different organizations, journalists, schools, and celebrities have been associated with the communists by the government and its supporters.

As of writing, Popular Bookstore has not issued an update on the individuals behind the vandalism.