“HIMAGSIK at PROTESTA” exhibits Filipino people’s continuing resistance and struggle

On the 40th year of the imposition of martial law 

An exhibit of Martial Law memorabilia opens at 4:00 pm today at the University of the Philippines’ Main Library-Filipiniana section as part of the commemoration of the 40th year of the imposition of martial law. 

“This is to remember martial law, the dictator, the terror. But more importantly, we want to give tribute to the “fire-starters”, those imbued with the courage, creativity and daringness of the Filipino people’s struggle, those who led the way and offered their lives in the fight against tyranny, oppression, and for national freedom and democracy. We want the youth to remember them and to keep the fire burning until justice and freedom is achieved. Tuloy ang laban!” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan. 

The exhibit, dubbed as Himagsik at Protesta features a collection of magazines, books, underground publications that date as far back as 1964, such as the first handbook of the Kabataan Makabayan, the militant organization in the 1960’s.  Also included in the exhibit are items used by known ML activists and revolutionaries, such as journalist Jose Burgos, former Rep. Satur Ocampo, artists Emman and Pete Lacaba, former political prisoner and Makibaka founder Prof. Judy Taguiwalo, activist Fr. Rudy Romano, national artist Bienvenido Lumbera, Prof. Jose Maria Sison, to name a few.  

Palabay said that the images in Himagsik at Protesta are not so different from the images of today. “Other than the equipment that underwent technological changes, the images of terror are the same.  A poster of Fr. Tullo Favali, for example, is displayed alongside with the poster of Fr. Fausto “Pops” Tentorio who were both victims extrajudicial killing by paramilitary groups, 26 years apart. Favali was killed in 1985, under Marcos, while Fr. Tentorio in 2011. ” 

“We also tapped the new generation of activists and youth to come up with creative pieces, be it poetry, songs, essays or paintings on a particular ML activist and about the memorabilia that are displayed. It is our way to pay tribute, at the same time encourage the youth to look back into the past and see how this rich legacy of resistance and struggle is entwined with the current struggles against continuing rights violations, US domination and plunder in the country, and feudal exploitation ,” added Palabay. 

Karapatan laments the fact that “up to now, there is still no justice for those who were victims of martial law.  The Marcoses are back in power and the Aquino government has not done anything substantial for the victims, even as more and more of them are dying of old age and sickness.”

The exhibit runs until September 21, 2012.  ###