MANILA, Philippines – Artists, including Members of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino and their awardees, wore "Stop the Attacks" pins during the 41st Gawad Urian awards on Thursday, June 14. (FULL LIST: Winners, Gawad Urian Awards 2018)
Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino president Rolando Tolentino told Rappler that the pins were their way of expressing their dismay over what's happening in the country. This is not the first time they've made a public show of their stand on things – in the past they wore black bands and pins to express their sentiments.
"Manunuri really shares [a] kind of solidarity because in movies, we look for social advocacy, social relevance, which we think will stand the test of time. So part of our own advocacy is that we also come up with out own statements. The attacks against journalists, against peace, against lumads, justice should be stopped," he said.
"All hopes were pinned in President Duterte being able to changed a lot of the oligarchy's ways but in just a couple of years, months since he has been in the presidency, we all know that things have not much changed. A new oligarchy is being crafted and it's proving to have violent repercussions on our citizens including the artist community," Tolentino added.
Tolentino added that he, like many in the artistic community, fears that the situation would only get worse if people do not speak out.
In a statement, the Stop the Attacks alliance, "a group of individual artists and citizens," said that "the death toll in the war on drugs has long arrived at genocidal levels."
Their full statement follows:
"Meanwhile, economic power also becomes more and more concentrated on the elite few—to the detriment of the vast majority of poor Filipinos burdened by regressive taxes, unabated inflation, and depressed wages. A full blown fascist dictatorship looms over the country. As artists and cultural workers, we cannot sit idly by as the genocide continues and the untrammeled attacks on our people intensify. We add our voice to the growing resistance against these attacks on our rights. We ask our fellow Filipinos as well as the international community to put pressure on this regime to stop the atrocities. We ask that there be an accounting of these grave crimes against our people, and that, eventually, the perpetrators be made to face the bar of justice." – Rappler.com