By JASMIN C. ESPINAS
MANILA – Various groups launched today, Dec. 14, a broad coalition of artists and cultural workers against the alliance between the Marcoses and the Dutertes in the upcoming 2022 national elections.
In the online launch of Artists against the Resurgence of Tyranny (ART), award-winning writer and filmmaker Bonifacio Ilagan said it aims to unite artists and cultural workers to “resist the resurgence of tyranny as embodied in the candidacies of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte.”
“We bear this focused commitment in the very name of our alliance, and we wear it like a badge of courage,” Ilagan, who was among the thousands imprisoned during the Marcos dictatorship, said.
ART is composed of regional artists from Northern Luzon (Cordillera), Southern Tagalog, Bicol, Southern Mindanao (Davao), and artists from the overseas, whom Bonifacio, also of Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law (CARMMA) described as “woke and passionate, and who will never allow the resurgence of tyranny.”
A month ago, Filipino artists called on the government to imprison Imelda Marcos, the other half of the Marcos conjugal dictatorship, who was convicted on various graft charges three years ago but has yet to be punished.
“We use art to question, highlight, and resist exactly what is eroding on our communities,” Grace Lopez of Regional Art Forum (RAF) said.
Read: Filipino artists want dictator’s wife Imelda Marcos jailed – Bulatlat
Marcos-Duterte: Machinery of a political cartel
Filmmaker JL Burgos of Surian ng Sining (SUSI) said that presidential aspirant Ferdinand Marcos Jr., son and namesake of the late dictator, and his vice presidential candidate Davao Mayor Sara Duterte, daughter of President Duterte, are determined to continue the glaring corruption and oppression under their respective administrations.
On Nov. 16, Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte finally confirmed that they would be running as a tandem in the upcoming elections, putting an end to the months of speculations.
“The existence of extrajudicial killings, human rights violations, erosion of basic civil liberties, corruption, crony capitalism, patronage politics, puppet governance, the sellout of Philippine patrimony and territory, and the denial of land, jobs, housing, and other rights to the poor under Duterte regime’s versions of it made the specters of Martial Law more alive today than ever,” Burgos said further.
Read: ‘Shameless’ | Bongbong’s presidential bid a spit on the graves of martial law victims – groups – Bulatlat
Never an underdog
During the launch, artists behind ART said Marcos is not an “underdog” in the upcoming elections. As such, they highlighted the need to hold education campaigns on the grassroots level to stop any possibility of the resurgence of tyranny.
“Against this resurgence of tyranny, we gather to marshall a united opposition aimed at burning away the cancer of Duterte and Marcos and sterilize their festering legacies. We gather to consolidate the varied lessons in the fight for democracy and reveal the breadth of the challenge before us,” said Antares Bartolome of CAP.
The media launch was led by Concerned Artists of the Philippines, in partnership with CARMMA, SUSI, Respond and Break the Silence Against the Killings (RESBAK), Regional Art Forum (RAF), and DAKILA. (JJE, RVO)