John Lloyd, Maria Ressa join new ‘Great Dictator’ protest video against anti-terror law

Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 06 2020 12:56 PM


MANILA — A wide ranging coalition of artists, legislators, journalists, educators and other multi-sectoral personalities is showcased in the second version of the much-talked-about “The Great Dictator” protest video against the recently signed anti terror law. 

The video collective, which features playwright Rody Vera’s Tagalog translation of the speech of Hollywood icon Charlie Chaplin in his 1940 movie “The Great Dictator” against tyrants, was posted Monday by its director Chuck Gutierrez. 

Gutierrez worked on the video for three weeks with many personalities approaching him to volunteer their services for the project.

Among the new participants are National Artist Ben Cabrera, former Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno, actor John Lloyd Cruz, director Lav Diaz, lawyer Chel Diokno; and journalists Maria Ressa and Inday Varona. 

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Filmed in black and white, the video of the nearly six-minute speech dramatically starts with Cruz declaring: “Ikinalulungkot ko pero ayaw kong maging diktador.”

The video was first released on June 12, Independence Day, after the anti-terror bill was submitted to Malacanan for approval. 

Gutierrez said the new video collaboration is stronger in terms of impact amid the approval of the terror bill last week; and the increasing media repression. 

The other volunteers in the video are professor Randy David; actors Jasmine Curtis Smith, Lotlot de Leon, Mae Paner, Nanding Josef and Bituin Escalante; Neri Colmenares; directors Baby Ruth Villarama and Carlitos Siguion Reyna; writer Bibeth Orteza; Chito Gascon, chairman of the Commission of Human Rights; bar topnotcher Mae Diane Azores; lawyer Ted Te; party list Rep. Carlos Zarate; businessman Charlie Yu; congressman Kit Belmonte; economist Winnie Monsod; gender equality activist Queenmelo Esguerra; and Sister Mary John Mananzan. 

One of the speech’s powerful highlights tells of the ultimate triumph of freedom, which goes: “Ang pagdurusang laganap ngayon ay dulot ng kasakiman, kapaitan ng ilang takot sa pag-unlad ng sangkatauhan. Ang kapuotan nila ay lilipas din at papanaw ang mga diktador. Ang kapangyarihang inagaw nila ay babalik sa mga tao. Sa kabila ng kamatayan ng marami, ang kalayaan ay di maglalaho.”

It is a direct translation of the Chaplin’s climactic speech in his movie against the rise of dictators such as Adolf Hitler of Germany and Benito Mussolini of Italy in the late 1930s: “The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass and dictators will die and the power they tool from the people will will return to the people. And so as men die, liberty will never perish.”

All previous participants in the first version are also part of the new “The Great Dictator” video. This includes among others Iza Calzado, director Joel Lamangan, Joanna Ampil, Bart Guingona, Sue Prado, Ria Atayde, Melvin Lee, Noel Escondo, Jun Sabayton Jr., Rhenwelyn Gabalonzo, Tad Tadioan, Ian Segarra, Guelan Luarca, Marco Viaña, Chynna Ortaleza, Meann Espinosa, Adrienne Vergara, Qiel Quiwa, Missy Maramara, Gabe Mercado, Julia Enriquez, Vance Larena, Kean Cipriano, Toni Go, Steven Conde, Joel Saracho, and Ketchup Eusebio. 

The video ended with the call: “Mga kababayan, sa ngalan ng demokrasya, magkaisa tayo,” before showing the hashtag #junkterrorlaw.

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