[Press Release] CHISMIS, EPAL, REKLAMADOR: Artist-activist group bring light to socio-political issues in time for #Halalan2022 | DAKILA

#HumanRights #Halalan2022

CHISMIS, EPAL, REKLAMADOR: Artist-activist group bring light to socio-political issues in time for #Halalan2022

In time for national elections next year and in observance of the International Youth Day on August 12, artist-activist group Dakila, along with Active Vista and We the Future, tackles various human rights and socio-political issues relevant to Philippine society through Ibang Klase Rin — a 15-20 minute digital program with three stand-alone episodes.

The episodes entitled Mga Marites Noon at Ngayon, Cancel Mo Mukha Mo, and Araw Gabi Laglag Pantry tackle historical revisionism and disinformation, good governance, and civic spaces, respectively. It aims to provide historical facts and insights on our current societal context to battle the anti-democratic narratives, especially as the country nears Halalan 2022.

“In the 2016 elections, we saw how an uprising populist with his army of social media followers had dominated the virtual political landscape and later swept his way to gain the highest seat in the government,” DAKILA Communications Director Andrei Venal said. “Social media became the political machinery of the government, and to combat this, we also need to wield our collective power in the digital landscape. The Ibang Klase Rin online video series aims to bridge experts and advocates to the general public towards bringing positive human rights behaviors and rights-based agenda in the upcoming elections.”

Having the youth as the primary audience in mind, the program incorporates satire and entertainment values to laymanize political and technical jargons. It is hosted by well-known media personalities, Mr. Lourd De Veyra, public historian Prof. Xiao Chua, and Bayaw Jun Sabayton.

“We recognize the power of the youth and their votes in bringing about the change we want to see in our country. We hope that these episodes will help them understand the issues we are facing, and translate those learnings into electing human rights champions,” We the Future convenor Madelene de Borja said.

The Mga Marites Noon at Ngayon episode walks the viewers through the formation of “chismis” to becoming malice and eventually turned into mis- and disinformation, and fake news. According to Prof. Chua, our history as a nation shows that chismis played a vital role in the formation of Filipino culture. Today, it is being weaponized by the people sitting in power. By propagating an army of social media trolls and spreading disinformation to the general public, chismis or disinformation are used to twist the narratives. In the context of the pande[mic, it brings unnecessary panic and fear among the public.

“Chismis or disinformation may have always been existent in our culture, but it’s all the more reason for us to uphold truth and combat its harms,” Venal says. “Ang pagkakalat ng maling balita ay hindi dapat ginagawang kultura.”

Election season is one of the most important events in any democratic institution. But in the Philippines, election season is also months — or even years — of dealing with circus-like campaigns spread all over the country and media outlets. Cancel Mo Mukha Mo episode tackles politicians and personalities who exhaust all means for unnecessary self-promotion and political gains. They are commonly called as epal.

In the present, t-shirts, towels, mugs, fans, stickers, massive billboards, and many more campaign paraphernalia with a politician’s face and name are spotted all across the cities. Even pandemic aids and vaccines are politicized.

“This electoral culture in our country contributes to popularity-based elections and political dynasties as we get stuck on the same names and cycle that hold the seat of power,” Venal explains. “Let us put a stop to this cycle. Let us register and exercise our right to vote come Halalan 2022, and choose leaders who truly deserve to be elected.”

Araw Gabi Laglag Pantry tackles the progressive groups, advocates, and ordinary people who are only exercising their right to dissent but are red-tagged by state authorities or name-called as reklamador.

“Attacks against critics, dissenters, and activists can be traced back to the times of our national heroes, and are still happening until now. But whether we admit it or not, the important roles of activists and critics cannot be denied as vital civil and political progress in our country are brought about by their struggles. Minimum wage, 13th-month pay, maternity leave, women’s suffrage are just a few among many things that activists have fought for,” Venal says, highlighting the victories of civic participation.

“As the Anti-Terror Law legitimizes, normalizes, and legalizes the upfronts for everyone who voices their opinion, now more than ever do we have to collectively stand up and partake in pushing for the change we want. We have fought for Philippine independence long ago, and we can still fight for our country today. Activists will continuously endure the frontline to amplify our calls. And we, the Filipino citizens, should not be swayed from any threats of the state.

Kalayaan at karapatan natin ang magsalita. Ang aktibismo ay pagpapalaya,” Venal ends.

The Ibang Klase Rin (IKR) program and other human rights-themed videos and films of DAKILA and Active Vista are available at Active Vista’s Youtube channel. Subscribe now at https://www.youtube.com/activevista.

DAKILA – Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism is an organization of artists, cultural and development activists, students, young professionals, and individuals creatively building a movement of heroism towards social transformation.

Email: info@dakila.org.ph

Mobile: +63 939 1182374

Active Vista is an institution established by DAKILA. It facilitates the learning process of empowering citizens to become agents of social change.

Email: communications@activevista.ph

Mobile: +63 915 5833364

We The Future PH is a network of Filipino youth working towards a future where human rights, freedom, and democracy are upheld and celebrated in the Philippines.

Website: WTF.ph

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