- October 11, 2020 15:08
By Mary Licel Biscocho
Following the initiative of artist Kevin Eric Raymundo with his art campaign which trended as '#Tumindig', student-led organizations, along with the Far Eastern University Central Student Organization (FEUCSO), joined forces to protest and take a stand against the injustice and oppression that transpired during the Duterte administration.
Through a series of online statements, some of the university-wide organizations created their own illustrations and representations of raised fist avatars, occupying the artwork with more protesters.
"No threat to civilization is more deadly than an inept government, corrupt or vile men," FEUCSO highlighted in their statement, initiating the University campaign on July 21.
The Junior People Management Association of the Philippines (JPMAP) - FEU Chapter furthered, that it is an obligation to be vocal and united in coveting a ‘holistic and adequate governance’ where Filipinos can freely express their democratic rights.
Similarly, the Oratorical and Debate Council (ORADEC) stressed the importance of awareness to achieve a ‘committed and competent governance’ further urging its fellow students to vote for deserving leaders.
The FEU Scholars' Society (FEUSS) believes that initiating little protests against the repression ripples a ‘cascade of confidence.’ With this, the organization urged those who are afraid to speak up to contribute to a collective effort to end the injustice.
Meanwhile, emphasizing their organizational pillars to promote human rights, secure a safe world for everyone, and stand against women oppression, the Peace to All Youth Organization (PEACE), College Y Club (CYC), and Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) - FEU Chapter vowed to live by their advocacies by using such platforms in speaking up to promote a better future.
In addition, the Tamaraw Volunteers (TAMVOL) from Manila and Makati campuses also released their statements about upholding the nature of volunteerism in standing against the injustice in which the most affected were the masses.
"Each one of us [holds] a power that can impact the future of our nation as a whole. It is now the time to choose what is right and to fight for our rights," TAMVOL - Makati said in their statement.
Along with the campaigning groups, the FEU Film Society (Film Soc) also participated in the movement, bearing the grievances of the artists and members of the media who lost their jobs due to the government’s negligence. They stated that the current administration should be held responsible for the immense loss of jobs and oppression of the nation's democracy along with the passing of the Anti-Terror Law in 2020.
Having the same principle, the Drug Abuse Prevention Core Group (DAPCG) also campaigned in the name of the victims of President Rodrigo Duterte's 'War on Drugs' whose lives were taken without sufficient due process.
Aside from the mentioned university-wide organizations, Institute Student Councils and Academic Organizations also took part in the movement, upholding the University’s core values and their advocacies as students and Filipino citizens.
The online campaign was initiated last July 17 when Raymundo, also known with his pseudonym Tarantadong Kalbo, posted a digital illustration of a raised fist as a symbolism of stance (pagtindig) in the sea of fist avatars who are blindingly bowing down, mimicking the President's iconic fist bump gesture.
He explained that he used the artwork as a channel of his frustration towards the seeming disconnection of the art community to what's happening in the country. Hence, he wanted to prompt his fellow artists to be involved in the occurring national crisis.
Days after the post went viral, other local artists, civil groups, and student organizations joined the protest, showing their solidarity in resisting the administration's abuse of power.
"I guess the message is to not be afraid of speaking out, of standing up for what is right, even if it feels like you’re the only one doing it," Raymundo said in an interview with Rappler, further encouraging its fellow Filipinos to gather the courage and take a stand.
(Photo courtesy of FEU Film Society)