Karapatan and relatives of political prisoners lauded the efforts of The Actors Guild of the Philippines and the Film Artists Group led by human rights advocate and artist Maria Isabel Lopez and beauty queen Evangeline Pascual in mounting the successful benefit exhibit of showbiz personalities for the campaign and welfare fund of political prisoners in the Philippines.
The exhibit dubbed “PortrAYAL (LAYA): Portraits for Freedom” opened on July 5 at the ART Center in Megamall Building A, Mandaluyong City. Karapatan and relatives of political prisoners, as beneficiaries of the said project, attended the opening. Former political prisoner Rep. Neri Colmenares, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, former Rep. Liza Maza, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, actor Pen Medina, scriptwriter Ricky Lee also attended the exhibit opening to lend their support for the project.
Lopez and Pascual, officers of the Guild, enjoined several showbiz personalities who are visual artists themselves to contribute their paintings for the said benefit exhibit. Among those who contributed their artworks were: Heart Evangelista, Vanessa “Bangs” Garcia, Jao Mapa, Mara Lopez, Melissa Mendez, Lani Lobangco, Lotlot de Leon, Cris Villanueva, Dranreb Belleza, Nadia Montenegro, Heber Bartolome, Ernie Garcia, Baron Geisler, Cesar Montano, Louie Ignacio, Rosanna Roces, Precy de Guzman-Brady, among others. The exhibit runs until July 7.
Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay, in the opening program, thanked the artists for their support to the political prisoners and human rights causes in the country.
“Political prisoners defend and uphold the people’s democratic rights, including the freedom of expression and the right to uphold and fight for their political beliefs. Peace consultants Alan Jazmines, Eduardo Sarmiento, Renante Gamara and Adelberto Silva are artists at the forefront of the people’s movement for the defense of these rights and for genuine change,” she stated.
Nikki Gamara, daughter of political prisoner Renante Gamara, said “It is a comfort to us relatives that the support for the release of my father and all political prisoners is gaining ground. We highly appreciate their solidarity through their artworks and encouraging words.”
On July 24 to 25, Karapatan and the End Impunity Alliance are scheduled to mount another exhibit of portraits of political prisoners by renowned social realists such as Neil Doloricon and Egay Fernandez, feminist artists from Kasibulan and young activist-artists at the Maximillan Gallery, Po’s Building, Tomas Morato corner Scout Madriñan, Quezon City.