Kidlat Tahimik, Bencab sign manifesto vs extrajudicial killings
BAGUIO CITY — National Artists Bencab (Ben Cabrera) and Kidlat Tahimik signed a manifesto on Friday night (Feb. 8) condemning extrajudicial killings that have been attributed to the Duterte administration’s “war on drugs.”
They led the ceremonial signing of the “Manifesto of Artists for Human Rights” at the University of the Cordilleras (UC), shortly after activist and comedienne Mae “Juana Change” Paner staged her one-woman play, ‘Tao Po’ about the social impact of President Duterte’s drug war.
“We are artists and cultural workers. We are citizens of this nation. We pledge to make art our weapon to uphold truth, freedom, human rights, and dignity for all, at all times,” states the manifesto, which was also signed by UC President Ray Dean Salvosa.
The manifesto established a “clear and present danger” arising from the numerous deaths, mostly of suspected drug addicts or alleged drug peddlers who belong to urban poor communities.
It urges artists to speak out for the principles of human rights and human dignity.
“Human rights must be protected, reclaimed, and upheld or give voice to the millions whose freedoms are denied,” the manifesto says.
Paner’s show was sponsored by UC in cooperation with the Commission on Human Rights, Hudyat: Artists for Human Dignity, the Dap-ayan ti Kultura iti Kordilyera, Let’s Organize for Democracy and Integrity, and the Baguio Writers Group./lzb