Philippines: Martial Law-Era Artists in Bayan Muna Miting de Avance

May. 07, 2007

MANILA — Perhaps for the first time since the downfall of the Marcos
dictatorship, four veteran alternative and folk musicians who gave
voice to the nationwide resistance against tyranny will perform on the
same stage and sing forgotten yet relevant songs of protest.

The four Heber Bartolome , Lolita Carbon, Paul Galang and Jess
Santiago will lead performers in Bayan Muna’s miting de avance
Tuesday starting at 6:00 pm at Barangay Tatalon, Araneta cor E.
Rodriguez Avenues in Quezon City.

“There can be no better way to send our message for the politics of
change, than through songs for change,” said House Deputy Minority
Leader and Bayan Muna President Satur Ocampo.

Ocampo said that “one gets a sense of dj vu, what with the political
killings, abductions, unbridled corruption, electoral cheating and
other hallmarks of a dictatorship recurring right before our very

Ocampo himself was part of the democratic resistance against Marcos,
taking part in the formation of the National Democratic Front that
engaged the dictatorship for the longest time.

“Marcos and Arroyo share not only the same number of letters in their
surnames. They use the same tactics against the opposition and the
nation,” said Ocampo. “We are all compelled to fight back and to fight
even harder for our dignity as a people and as nation who do not wish
to live in a recycled nightmare called martial law.”

Jonas Burgos, son of press freedom icon Joe Burgos who fought the
Marcos dictatorship, was abducted April 28 and became 198th
desaparecido under Arroyo. Close to 900 activists have been slain,
including nearly 140 Bayan Muna members and officers.

In its third run for partylist representation, Bayan Muna is
campaigning as the “party of the poor and the oppressed”, aiming to
push a legislative agenda that includes providing mandatory health
insurance for senior citizens, stronger protection for embattled
Filipino journalists, enactment of a Human Rights Code, measures
banning enforced disappearances, and increases in appropriations for
vital social services.

Popular reggae group Brownman Revival will start the night’s
festivities followed by Tambisan sa Sining’s rousing rendition of Awit
ng Pag-asa. The song’s opening stanza, says Ocampo, tells of what
Bayan Muna faces today and why it should aptly respond to the
situation: “Kahit kay haba ng lalakbayin/daang tag-araw man ang
humagupit/Kahit ilang libong tag-ulan ang sumapit/Hinding-hindi tayo

Other performers include MOYG, The Wuds and Chikoy Pura of The Jerks.

Ocampo leads Bayan Muna’s nominees for partylist representatives for
the third time. The others are Rep. Teddy Casio, human rights lawyer
and constitutionalist Neri Javier Colmenares, and several others.

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