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LOOK: Diliman Commune's 50th anniversary

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 02 2021 12:50 AM | Updated as of Feb 02 2021 02:44 AM

The original event came at a critical juncture in the country's history, coming on the heels of the studentry's growing boldness to challenge the authoritarian tendencies of the administration of Ferdinand Marcos after the turbulent First Quarter Storm of 1970.

That boldness led to the Diliman Commune in 1971, when students supported jeepney drivers' strike due to oil price hike and barricaded the University of the Philippines campus for nine days.

Fifty years later, the same campus has again been thrust in the center of political turmoil, this time against the perceived ministrations of the government of President Rodrigo Duterte on established democratic rights.

The abrogation of the decades-old UP-DND Accord, which prevents police and the military from entering the campus without prior notice to the school administration, has only made the 50th year commemoration of the Diliman Commune more significant.

The same boldness is again on exhibit as the campus remains one of the few places where protesters have been able to express their views against government policies and the commemoration only serves to strengthen the resolve of the UP academic community to keep this tradition.

The Oblation serves as a backdrop to an art installation by Abdulmari “Toym” de Leon Imao, the Barikada, symbolizing the protest movement then and now. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

The art installation is the centerpiece of the Diliman Commune 5oth anniversary commemoration titled, Barikada Singkwenta: Pagpupugay at Paggunita. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

The art installation is composed of two parts, a bamboo structure, an homage to artist Junyee's earlier art installation during the First Quarter Storm of 1970, and the symbolic materials used as barricades during the commune of 1971, like the tables and chairs. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

UP President Danilo Concepcion delivers his message. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

UP Diliman Chancellor Fidel Nemenzo delivers his message. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Bonifacio Ilagan reads the message of the family of Pastor Mesina Jr., the student who was shot and died during the commune. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

The audience reacts to the messages. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Singers Greg De Leon and Tapati sing protest songs during the program. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Judy Taguiwalo, a 'Communard,' referring to a participant of the Diliman Commune, delivers her message. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Another Communard, Butch Dalisay, also gives a speech about the historic uprising. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Boni Ilagan, a Communard, prepares to place on the art installation one of the symbolic materials, a torch, used during the commune. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Chancellor Fidel Nemenzo prepares to place on the art installation another one of the symbolic materials, a protest placard used during the commune. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

The personalities who paid tribute during the commemoration sing 'Internasyonal' during the program. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

The audience join the leaders on stage in the singing. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

The audience join the leaders on stage in the singing. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Details of the art installation show discarded school chairs and tables upcycled for the installation. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Further details show protest messages, inspired by jeepney signs, as an homage to the original Diliman Commune. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News