Coastal-based group to show Dukot in fishing villages

Coastal-based group to show Dukot in fishing villages
by Gerry Albert Corpuz, Public Information Chief, Pamalakaya

Manila, Philippines- The public information officer of the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Tuesday said they will ask film director Joel Lamangan and screen writer Bonifacio Ilagan for a free DVD copy of their latest collaboration Dukot, a film on enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings, so they could show it to fishing villages in commemoration of human rights week in December.

“We are glad that the film Dukot was approved to be shown for commercial viewing because it would mean larger venue for larger audience. But in the case of the rural people like our small scale fishermen who don’t have the financial means to watch in commercial theaters, we will just ask for a complementary copy in the form of DVD and let it shown for free to the coastal people,” said Pamalakaya information officer Gerry Albert Corpuz.

Corpuz, who attended the special press preview of Dukot in My Cinema, Greenbelt-3 last Saturday upon the invitation of Ilagan, said the film should be viewed by the Filipino people for its courageous and powerful position against enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings and worsening human rights situation in the country.

Among the activists who attended the special screening were Anakpawis party list Rep. Rafael Mariano, Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes Jr., Beng Rivera-Reyes of Health Alliance for Democracy, Kabataan party list Rep. Raymond Palatino, Bayan Deputy Secretary General Ms Rita Baua and Bayan international liaisons officer Norma Binas.

During the open forum, Rep. Mariano congratulated the producers and the entire people behind Dukot, while Rep. Palatino described the film as powerful from the message of the film to the performances of the lead and supporting cast.

Bayan’s Reyes said the film is brave and intense and fast paced. He said veterans Gina Alajar, who played the mother of missing Maricel and Robert Arevalo, who essayed the role of Junix’s father in the movie were exceptionally good.

“ We are glad the MTRCB allowed the public exhibition of Dukot with R-18 rating. It is fine with us. But the sum of all our fears is still there because President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the National Security Council headed by security adviser Norberto Gonzalez might intervene to compel the MTRCB to stop the commercial and even the independent exhibition of Dukot in the name of national security doctrine and politics,” Pamalakaya’s Corpuz added.

According to Corpuz, the film had its world premiere at the Montreal Film Festival in Canada and more international festival groups are inclined to invite Dukot for international exhibitions. He said the film will also be shown in the United States, countries in Europe, Japan and Hong Kong with the help of Migrante International.

“Let’s face it. The film Dukot is all about the worsening human rights abuses in the country and its strength lies on the fact that the independent film without batting an eyelash and pretensions pinpoints the Arroyo administration and the military as the perpetrators of these political crimes since this administration took political power in 2001. The film’s nationwide and international showing will really worry Malacañang and pro-Arroyo military generals,” Corpuz added.

The film is the latest collaboration of Palanca awardee Bonifacio Ilagan and multi-awarded director Joel Lamangan, the same team behind the highly successful and multi-awarded Nora Aunor movie–The Flor Contemplacion Story in 1995 that gave the superstar strings of Best Actress trophies the following year.

In the movie, actors Allen Dizon and Iza Calzado play the role of two young activists who were abducted by government security forces. The two leads were provided with strong support from a deep bench of multi-awarded actors like Gina Alajar, Robert Arevalo, Raquel Villavicencio and Snooky Serna.

The Pamalakaya information officer said the independent film appeared to be an updated version of the late Lino Brocka anti-militarization film “Orapronobis” which was banned during the administration of the late President Corazon Aquino for its scathing views on the military establishment.

“Dukot is the film of the millennium for its courageous and what you see is what you get criticism and denouncement of the Arroyo administration’s policy of silencing its critics through extrajudicial killing and enforced disappearance of leftwing activists and critics. This film is a denouncement of Arroyo’s politically motivated heinous crimes against the activists in particular and the Filipino people in general,” Corpuz stressed.

Citing the consolidated human rights report of the human rights watchdog Karapatan from January 2001 to December 2008, Corpuz said the Arroyo administration is accountable for summary execution and arbitrary killing of 991 activists and the enforced disappearance of 201 activists during the same period.

He said the administration and the military were also accountable for cases involving the torture of 1,010 activists, illegal arrest and detention of 1,852 leftists and critics, physical assault and injury to 29, 976 persons and threat, intimidation and harassment to 79,755 activists and ordinary people during the same period.

Corpuz said a total of 868, 096 people were forcibly evicted and displaced in the countryside in the course of the operations of the counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya 1 and Oplan Bantay Laya 2 since 2001.#

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