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Lino Brocka, 3 others installed on remembrance wall

By Jeannette Andrade
First Posted 20:05:00 12/01/2007

Filed Under: history

MANILA -- ?Mabuhay ka, Lino Brocka [Long live, Lino Brocka]!?

With these words, the late film director Catalino ?Lino? O. Brocka joined the ranks of the 165 heroes and martyrs who gave their lives or fought for freedom and whose names are immortalized on the wall of remembrance at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani (Monument of Heroes) in Quezon City.

Brocka is the first film director to be honored by ?hero worshippers,? who deem him to be worthy of a place on the wall of freedom fighters for his fearless struggle for artistic freedom through his movies at a time when censorship was zealously imposed by the Marcos administration.

An outspoken detractor of the Marcos dictatorship, his films such as ?Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag,? ?Jaguar,? ?Kapit sa Patalim,? ?Insiang,? and ?Bona? reflected his critical eloquence, earning him a place on the wall alongside Dr. Aloysius ?Ochie? Baes, Nicolas Solana Jr., and Rizal Chang Keng Yuyitung.

Hero worshippers gathered at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in remembrance of the fallen heroes close to dusk on Bonifacio Day, bearing candles which they placed across the wall.

Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation vice chairman Jose De Jesus said that the wall of remembrance is for Filipinos who gave credit to the race. ?They [heroes whose names are inscribed on the wall] fought for freedom even at the cost of God?s greatest gift, life itself,? he said in his speech.

He added that the wall is the least Filipinos can do to honor their heroism.

Dr. Baes was included on the wall for his environmental advocacy as well as his musical compositions, made during his detention during the martial law era, that have become anthems of progressive organizations.

His citation read: ?For exhibiting consistent commitment in leadership to the cause of democracy and freedom in his youthful years by propagating democratic and nationalistic ideals among the youth and students of the University of the Philippines in Los Baos, Laguna and the nearby communities as one of the pioneering and prominent founding members of Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK, Democratic Organization of the Youth).?

?For giving all his knowledge, skills, talents, even his health and wellbeing to freedom, democracy, human rights and environmental conservation to the Philippines and to the Filipino people,? it further said.

The activist Solana, on the other hand, was honored by the foundation ?for embracing the cause of the poor and oppressed by immersing himself with the people of Davao, being part of their daily struggle to seek a better life.?

His citation read: ?For risking life and limb for the fight against the tyranny of the dictatorship by championing the cause of peasants in their struggle for land, for better wages for the working class, for the dignity of habitat for the urban slum dwellers; For championing the political rights of the poor people of Davao by challenging anti-people decrees and laws instituted by the regime.?

Solana died in April 17, 1975 at the age of 26, felled by five bullets in an armed encounter in the mountains of Davao.

Journalist Yuyitung, one half of two siblings dubbed, ?The Brothers Yuyitung,? fell victim to two ?communist-phobic presidencies? which saw them jailed for publishing supposedly subversive and libelous articles in the paper Chinese Commercial News, the third longest existing daily in the country.

Even before the martial law era, the brothers suffered under the Marcos administration where they were kidnapped and flown to Taiwan where they were held incommunicado in a military garrison for publishing articles that criticized the government. The articles were branded ?pro-communist? and ?anti-Filipino.?

The foundation honored him, thus: ?For demonstrating his indisputable fraternity with Filipinos less by a superficial commonality of blood as by his profound willingness to sacrifice everything for freedom of all Filipinos.?

?For his courage in the midst of tyranny, thereby serving as inspiration and rallying symbol for other journalists to continue the fight for a free and independent press during the dark days leading to the martial rule; For the excellent example of integrity and fairness that is his life to a new generation of journalists as well as advocates of democracy.?

The wall of remembrance was first conceptualized in 1986 immediately after the first EDSA revolution in celebration of the ouster of a dictator and the restoration of democracy in the country.

The wall of remembrance was unveiled on November 30, 1992, where ?the names of the first 65 martyrs were honored and enshrined,? the program for the event read.

It was in 1993 that the foundation decided to honor heroes who died after EDSA but had sacrificed everything in the name of truth, justice, peace, freedom and democracy during the Marcos years.

In her speech, Eugenia Apostol, the guest speaker, said, that the martyrs and heroes on the wall showed that, ?We cannot lose hope. We should not lose hope. We have to do something. Something positive for the future.?

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