By JUSTIN UMALI
SANTA ROSA, Laguna – Coinciding with Ferdinand Marcos’ 102nd birthday, youth group Anakbayan hosted a cultural night Sept. 11 at I ? Milktea to condemn the dictator’s “legacy” and President Duterte’s “idolatry” of the Marcoses.
Titled Doble Kara: A Marcos Birthday BASH!, the cultural night highlighted the similarities between Marcos’ dictatorship and Duterte’s repressive policies.
The night was filled with musical performances and spoken word poetry from members of Anakbayan Laguna, and short talks from youth leaders from Anakbayan Southern Tagalog, the College Editors Guild of the Philippines Laguna, and Kabataan Partylist Laguna.
Kyle Camporedondo, chairperson of Anakbayan Laguna, opened the event by stressing the need for the youth to never forget the horrors of Martial Law. “We’re not here to celebrate a fascist dictator. We’re here to call for an end to all fascists and dictators,” he said during his opening remarks.
The highlight of the evening was a “tango” between Marcos and Duterte. The dance was cut short with a spoken word performance to highlight the “mirrored atrocities of the Duterte and Marcos regimes”.
The piece was performed in conjunction with the presentation of a cake, a check, gold bars, and the lighting of candles.
Fiona Romano, secretary general of Anakbayan Laguna, explained, “The cake represents the whole theme, that Duterte and Marcos aren’t too different. They are both dogs to foreign capital, dictators, and fascists. The check represents the way the Marcos family continually insults the human rights victims of Martial Law by giving them token amounts and pretending that their ill-gotten wealth is theirs to keep. The gold bars represent the decadence of the Marcos family, which was taken from the blood and sweat of workers and peasants during Martial Law. Finally, the candles represent the desparecidos, who are still missing to this day.”
Doble Kara ended with a challenge to those who attended the gathering. “It’s not enough for us to just say never forget, never again,” said Romano. “We have to fight back. If the youth managed to fight against a dictator during Martial Law, who’s to say that we can’t fight again?”
During the event, flyers were found in the women’s comfort room which read “Anakbayan Group, ginagawang teroristang NPA ang kabataan!” (Anakbayan group turns the youth into terrorist NPAs!) and “Huwag sumali sa Anakbayan, LFS, at Kabataan Partylist! Sila ay lason at sumisira sa kinabukasan ng kabataan!” (Don’t join Anakbayan, [League of Filipino Students] and Kabataan Partylist! They are poison and will ruin the youth’s future!). The flyers were signed by a group called “Kalinga ng Magulang”.
When asked for a comment, Camporedondo said, “This is a threat to our democratic rights. Black propaganda is nothing new. It only proves that Duterte, like Marcos, is afraid of a youth who will not back down. We will fight for what is just.”
Anakbayan Laguna is studying possible legal actions against the Kalinga ng Magulang.