Two local independent bookstores have been defaced on the same day.
Popular Bookstore in Tomas Morato, Quezon City first reported the vandalism through their official Facebook page. They shared the post with photos of their storefront tagged with the words "NPA Terrorista" in red graffiti.
"As we opened our store this morning, this message greeted us," Popular Bookstore wrote. "Our reaction was not fear. It was more of dismay and exasperation."
"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."
"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)," they concluded.
Popular Bookstore has long been a beloved haven for bookworms, students, and researchers looking for rare books in the Quezon City area.
Shortly after, the F. Sionil Jose-owned Solidaridad Bookshop also reported that they have been the victim of defacement.
Similar to Popular Bookstore, their storefront sign was attempted to be covered in red graffiti. As seen in photos shared on Facebook by journalist Joel Pablo Salud, the barely-visible letters of “NPA” can be seen written on one corner.
Once dubbed the "best little bookstore in Asia," Solidaridad Bookshop found in Padre Faura in Manila was owned by the late National Artist for Literature Jose. It has been a staple bookstore for Filipino bookworms and has also held gatherings for personalities in the local literature scene.
Both bookstores hold a rich selection of books with themes ranging from culture, classics, political literature, and more.