“It is but a historical deja vu that the place where Bonifacio was believed to have been killed by Emilio Aguinaldo’s men, here, freedom of expression was slain 150 years after by Noynoy Aquino’s state forces.” – Vincent Silarde, Artists Arrest
By RONALYN V. OLEA
MANILA — In Maragondon, Cavite, Andres Bonifacio was killed, albeit figuratively, for the second time.
In the afternoon of November 27, elements of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Maragondon, along with armed units of the Philippine Air Force went inside the Maragondon Municipal Hall and took off several photographs from the Locating Bonifacio exhibit.
The exhibit shows how Bonifacio is portrayed in contemporary times. The photographs were divided into three categories: places, which included a mural of Bonifacio along an overpass in Diliman, Quezon City painted by graffiti group Gerilya, and monuments captured on a typical day; people, which showed a portraits of individuals named after the hero one of which is premier director Bonifacio Ilagan; and social movements, featuring workers’ protests in Manila, and formations of the clandestine New People’s Army.
Policemen and soldiers forced the removal of nine photographs depicting the people’s movement and the armed revolutionary struggle.
In a statement, the Artists’ Response to the Call for Social Change and Transformation (Artists’ Arrest), one of the organizers, said the police and military “acted like guardia civils armed to persecute indios.”
“We, as artists advancing the need to portray social realities in our works and at the same time fighting various forms of state censorship, are deeply offended by the actions of the AFP-PNP,” Vincent Silarde, spokesperson of the Artists Arrest, said. “This is not only a manifestation of their historical ignorance but a clear-cut insult to the life and struggle that Gat Andres Bonifacio had fought and died for in the 1896 Philippine revolution.”
Locating Bonifacio is a project designed by Southern Tagalog Exposure, Artists’ Arrest, and UPLB Zoom Out Multimedia Collective to commemorate Bonifacio’s 150th birth anniversary. Featured photographs include those from professional photojournalists such as Ray Panaligan, Jes Aznar and Alex Baluyut.
“It is but a historical deja vu that the place where Bonifacio was believed to have been killed by Emilio Aguinaldo’s men, here, freedom of expression was slain 150 years after by Noynoy Aquino’s state forces,” Silarde added.
The Maragondon-leg of the exhibit, the third one, is in partnership with the local government unit. Locating Bonifacio was launched November 4 at the SM Calamba City, Laguna, and was also shown in schools such as the Colegio de San Juan de Letran -Calamba, Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Sta. Mesa, and University of the Philippines Los Baños.