Just imagine being unwanted in a place you have grown up since birth. The place where your childhood memories were once created, or what if being banned from the place you love and used to visit before? Just because of one mistake, everything has changed.
And that happens when you are being declared as Persona Non-Grata.
The term “Persona Non Grata” means what exactly?
The Latin phrase “persona non grata” means “unwelcome person.” The term “person no longer welcome in a particular country” is a diplomatic term for this scenario. This may occur for various reasons, such as when someone poses a security risk or has broken the law.
In the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of the UN, it is recognized as an aspect of diplomacy. This is a code of conduct that controls how governments communicate with one another within the UN system.
A member of a diplomatic mission, such as the ambassador, charges d’affaires, or their staff, may be designated as “persona non grata,” which means the host nation “does not accept” them.
Without having to justify its choice, the receiving state may proclaim someone “persona non grata,” and it may do so even before the diplomat arrives. After that, the “persona non grata” would be subject to recall or termination and required to return to their own countries. In diplomatic language, it’s called being expelled from a country.
Puka Luka Vega Issue
In a recent event, drag performer Puka Luka Vega performed to an “Ama Namin” remix while dressed as the Black Nazarene. The performance was posted on social media and quickly drew the attention of netizens, Catholic and other religious groups, and government officials.
On Wednesday, August 16, the Cebu City Council declared Vega a “persona non grata,” meaning he was no longer welcome in the city; together with 11 other local towns, he was also banned from entering them.
The enactment of Vega as persona non grata has prompted a discussion about religious tolerance and freedom of expression. While some believe that Vega’s performance was protected by the Constitution’s First Amendment as free speech, others argue that it was an intentional display of disrespect.