Here’s a press release from the fisherfolk organization Pamalakaya Philippines.
The public information officer of the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Monday said the MTRCB (Movie and Television Review and Classification Board ) might give an “X” rating to “Dukot”, an independently produced film about the enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of political activists under the present administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
“The sum of all our fears is that President Arroyo and the National Security Council headed by security adviser Norberto Gonzalez will compel the MTRCB to stop the commercial and even the independent exhibition of Dukot in the name of national security doctrine and politics,” says Pamalakaya information officer Gerry Albert Corpuz in a press statement.
According to Corpuz, the film was invited by organizers of the Montreal Film Festival in Canada and more international festival groups are inclined to invite Dukot for international exhibitions.
“Let’s face it. The film Dukot is all about the worsening human rights abuses in the country and its strength lies on the fact that the independent film without batting an eyelash and pretensions pinpoints the Arroyo administration and the military as the perpetrators of these political crimes since this administration took political power in 2001. The film’s nationwide and international showing will really worry Malacañang and pro-Arroyo military generals,” Corpuz added.
The film is the latest collaboration of Palanca awardee Bonifacio Ilagan and multi-awarded director Joel Lamangan, the same team behind the highly successful and multi-awarded Nora Aunor movie–The Flor Contemplacion Story in 1995 that gave the superstar strings of Best Actress trophies the following year.
In the movie, actors Allen Dizon and Iza Calzado play the role of two young activists who were abducted by government security forces. The two leads were provided with strong support from a deep bench of multi-awarded actors like Gina Alajar, Robert Arevalo, Raquel Villavicencio and Snooky Serna.
The Pamalakaya information officer who saw the trailer of Dukot in the alternative news online Bulatlat.com said the independent film appeared to be an updated version of the late Lino Brocka anti-militarization film “Orapronobis” which was banned during the administration of the late President Corazon Aquino for its scathing views on the military establishment.
“Dukot is the film of the millennium for its courageous and tongue-lashing critique of the Arroyo administration’s policy of silencing its critics through extrajudicial killing and enforced disappearance of leftwing activists and critics. This film is a denouncement of Arroyo’s politically motivated heinous crimes against the activists in particular and the Filipino people in general,” Corpuz stressed.
Citing the consolidated human rights report of the human rights watchdog Karapatan from January 2001 to December 2008, Corpuz said the Arroyo administration is accountable for summary execution and arbitrary killing of 991 activists and the enforced disappearance of 201 activists during the same period.
He said the administration and the military were also accountable for cases involving the torture of 1,010 activists, illegal arrest and detention of 1,852 leftists and critics, physical assault and injury to 29, 976 persons and threat, intimidation and harassment to 79,755 activists and ordinary people during the same period.
Corpuz said a total of 868, 096 people were forcibly evicted and displaced in the countryside in the course of the operations of the counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya 1 and Oplan Bantay Laya 2 since 2001.
Pamalakaya’s Corpuz said Arroyo’s sponsorship and strong adherence to the politics of national security has endangered the commercial and alternative exhibition of the film. He said as far as they are concerned, they want the film to be shown in commercial theaters, universities and other schools without cuts.
“We will keep our fingers cross, but definitely we will join protest once Malacañang and the military direct the MTRCB to stop the showing of Dukot. We will not allow Arroyo and her cabal of suppressors to deny the rights of the people to public information and to truth, justice and accountability,” he said.
Pamalakaya said it is going to send a national memorandum to its 43 chapters all over the country and to its network of international organizations to sponsor the showing of Dukot in whatever form like commercial, alternative or “guerilla showing” in promoting the film both here and abroad. It said once it gets a DVD copy of the film, it will show Dukot in peasant and fishing communities where there are chapters of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and Pamalakaya.