Latin America

IN PHOTOS: UP Oblation Run calls to uphold freedom of expression

Lisa Marie David
Around 30 masked APO members joined this year’s Oblation Run, dubbed the “Ritual Dance of the Brave” – a call for action against threats to democracy

BLANK. Alpha Phi Omega (APO) fraternity members carry blank placards to allow people to voice out their own messages during the Oblation Run at the University of the Philippines-Diliman on February 8, 2019. Photo by Lisa David/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – For their annual Oblation Run, members of the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) International Collegiate Service Fraternity called for the protection of freedom of expression and self-determination at Palma Hall in the University of the Philippines in Diliman on Friday, February 8.

Around 30 masked APO members joined this year’s Oblation Run, dubbed the “Ritual Dance of the Brave” – a call for action against threats to democracy, particularly to minorities, activists, the youth, and journalists.

TAKE A STAND. Members of the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity hold their annual Oblation Run at the University of the Philippines Diliman on Friday, February 8, 2019. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

 

OBLATION. An Alpha Phi Omega (APO) fraternity member replicates UP's Oblation statue during the annual Oblation Run in the University of the Philippines Diliman on February 8, 2019. Photo by Lisa David/Rappler

NAKED. Members of the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity walk naked during their annual Oblation Run at the University of the Philippines Diliman on Friday, February 8, 2019. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

APO spokesperson Cole Asuncion said that with their fraternity wanted to illuminate people from different fractions of society.

“This Oblation Run is a call for everyone. Not just a reminder, but a call to everyone to defend freedom of expression, to defend press freedom,” said Wilnor Papa, an alumnus member of the APO.

Compared to the previous protest runs, this year’s placards were left blank.

Bakit blanko ‘yung mga placards? Kasi gusto naming manggaling sa inyo kung ano ‘yung gusto ‘nyong sabihin (Why were the placards left blank? It’s because we wanted the message to come from you),” Papa explained.

Nakita ‘nyo meron doon nagsabing stop the killings, protect Lumads. Lumabas din ‘yung legalization of medical marijuana. Ito ‘yung mga gustong sabihin ng mga tao, na gusto nating i-amplify and Alpha Phi Omega Eta Chapter would like to provide that platform,” Papa said.

(You saw there were those who said stop the killings, protect Lumads. The legalization of medical marijuana was also brought up. These are what people wanted to say and what we wanted to amplify. Alpha Phi Omega Eta Chapter would like to provide that platform.)

EXPRESSION. Members of the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) fraternity participate in the Oblation Run at University of the Philippines Diliman to uphold freedom of expression and self-determination on February 8, 2019. Photo by Lisa David/Rappler

Papa also noted that the Oblation Run is not merely an annual tradition of the APO, but a “medium of UP community to raise issues.” The annual tradition dates back to 1977.

 In 2018, the Philippines was dubbed as the deadliest peacetime country for journalists in Southeast Asia, according to a Southeast Asia Media Report by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). Rappler.com

Lisa Marie David is a Rappler intern and a 4th year AB Journalism student at the University of Santo Tomas.