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200 LODIs vow to shine light on truth, fight for free expression amid Duterte’s drive towards dictatorship

By LODI Philippines
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 spokespersons.

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 speech.

“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 for starters”.

“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.

Playwright Bonifacio 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.

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