200 LODIs vow to
shine light on truth, fight for free expression amid Duterte’s drive
December 11, 2017
MANILA – A broad
and brilliant array of nearly 200 artists, performers, filmmakers,
cultural and media workers, writers, journalists, photographers, and
bloggers have signed up to be LODI.
A LODI delegation also
attended the Movement Against Tyranny’s Human Rights Day rally at
Bonifacio Shrine in Manila.
LODI, which stands for
Let’s Organize for Democracy and Integrity, is a newly-formed arts
and media alliance devoted to defending free expression in the face
of thousands of extrajudicial killings and transparent moves to
install a Duterte dictatorship.
“Today, Human Rights Day,
we Filipinos in the arts and media rededicate ourselves to the cause
of defending our people’s right to freely think for ourselves and to
freely express and to freely depict what’s happening to the
country,” said stage and television artist Joel Saracho, one of LODI
Saracho said Duterte is
not unlike the American colonial forces which banned the display of
the flag, and the Marcos dictatorship that cracked down on free
“Duterte is not only lying
about drugs, so-called federalism and the elitist RevGov. He and his
court jesters are misrepresenting the Filipinos’ desire for
authentic change with his drive towards one-man rule. He and his
minions demonize and harass those who defy and expose the lies and
who present the truth,” explained Saracho, adding that “LODI won’t
allow this to go unchallenged.”
Blogger and newspaper
columnist Tonyo Cruz, also a LODI spokesperson, said the 200 artists
and media personalities who have signed the LODI statement “is just
“We expect more people
from the arts and media to sign this statement, join LODI and
participate in activities. Many view Duterte and his rising
dictatorship as clear and present dangers to their craft, industry
and audiences,” said Cruz.
“We are happy and excited
to see members of the arts and media communities come out openly and
bravely for free expression. The dictator and his minions are put on
notice,” Cruz added.
Ilagan currently heads the LODI steering committee, with members
including director Joel Lamangan, journalists Inday Varona Espina
and Raymund Villanueva, Walkie Mirana of the Concerned Artists of
the Philippines ( CAP), and spokespersons Saracho and Cruz.