Taken from Bulletin Today, January 28, 1986, p. 11 (via Chingbee Cruz)
Declaration of the Coalition of Writers and Artists for Freedom and Democracy
Filipino writers and artists have always thrived on a wide diversity of beliefs and a rich plurality of viewpoints. There is no such burden to seek any unanimity on political issues whether in the abstract or through their incarnation in political personalities. The life of the imaginative intellect flourishes in open debate and often strikes light through the clash of ideas.
Nevertheless a nation founded by writers and artists in that great watershed of the propaganda movement and the Philippine revolution in 1886 cannot be insensitive to what the men of thought and imagination in its midst have to say on the choice of alternative national futures. Jose Rizal exemplified the writer and the artist who dared and act out his vision for his people, ending up in both immolation and immortality.
When great issues are joined in the life of a people and life-and-death choices present themselves in political terms, the writers and artists must take a stand and must not seek refuge and false comfort in total political anonymity.
We believe that the special presidential elections on February 7, 1986 present us with one of two choices: to reestablish Philippine democracy on a new and more enduring level with its guarantees of individual freedom and social responsibility, or to risk a fugure dominated by the spectre of unending social strife, hate, vengeance and perhaps a bloody fatricide the ferocity of which has never been known in our history.
The plain and simple fact is that we asa writers and artists have serious apprehension about the candidates of the opposition. We are apprehensive about the fact that they have nothing to offer than a dubious promise of sincerity and an even more dubious promise to hand government over to an unidentified cadre of advisers. These are no more than niggardly excuses for lack of a coherent program of government.
In view of the crises that threaten the economic security and the cultural serenity of our nation, we can only regard such representation from them as symptomatic of a reluctance to come to grips with reality and an indifference to the need for wisdom and maturity.
As such, this coalition seeks to preserve what has already been achieved in terms of cultural advancement and to proceed further under an enlightened and transformed national leadership equipped to face the pressures of change and advance our national and spiritual progress. We believe that the leadership of President Ferdinand E. Marcos is our only guarantee for survival at this point.
Indeed, we believe we can best achieve our national interests and realize the aspirations of writers and artists with the triumph of the Marcos-Tolentino team.
AN AGENDA FOR CULTURE
During his meeting with the members of the Coalition, President Marcos signed eleven directives aimed at helping bring about “a new cultural renaissance” in the country. The Agenda for Culture presented by the Coalition, include:
1. The creation of a separate Ministry of Culture which shall develop and implement policies and programs leading to the promotion and enrichment of Philippine arts and letters.
2. The establishment of a Publication Fund endowed by the national government to undertake the printing and publication of books (including artbooks) that otherwise could not be published by the authors concerned.
3. The expansion, improvement, and modernization of the National Library, the National Museum, the National Archives, the Cultural Center of the Philippines Library, the Film Archives of the Experimental Cinema of the Philippines and the National Historical Commission.
4. The establishment of a Philippine Academy of Arts and Letters, the honor society for the country’s intellectuals which shall help in the development of the native genius in arts and letters.
5. The reactivation of the National Artists Awards and Republic Cultural Heritage awards.
6. The importation of tax free art materials and reading materials.
7. The establishment of a Writers-Artists Village on an appropriate site in the Metro Manila area to meet the housing needs of deserving but homeless writers and artists.
8. The establishment of an Art Bank for the purchase of meritorious artwork, and further requiring Philippine embassies, consulates, as well as Philippine Ministries to acquire and display works done by Filipino artists
9. The promotion and development of Pilipino as a national language and as a mediuim of literary expression, and the endowment of a Translation Center for the translation of major Filipino works into Pilipino and Asian languages as well as -not ledgible-
10. The grant of an endowment to the U.P. Creative Writing Center and to the Siliman University Summer Writers Workshop which have helped discover and encourage literary talent.
11. The extension of greater government support to the development of the Filipino theatre and dance, music, architecture, and other major facets of the artistic expression.
VIRGILIO S. ALMARIO
LAMBERTO E. ANTONIO
LEO T. ANTONIO
VAL B. BATACAN, JR.
MANUEL D. BALDEMOR
MABINI REY CENTENO
LEONARDO (TITO NARDS) CHARVET
ANDRES CRISTOBAL CRUZ
EMILIO AGUILAR CRUZ
REY MARTE CRUZ
ROSAURIO DELA CRUZ
RONY V. DIAZ
VII MA. SANTIAGO FELIPE
ALEX M. FERNANDO
JUAN T. GATBONTON
CHING REYES ILAGAN
ILDEFENSO R. ILAGAN, JR.
J. EDDIE INFANTE
JUAN S. P. HIDALGO, JR.
BENIGNO A. JUAN
LUCRECIA R. KASILAG
PABLO REYNA LIBIRAN
HERMILINDA T. LINGBAOAN
MARIA TERESA MANUEL
C.C. MARQUEZ, JR.
B.S. MEDINA, JR.
CARMEN GUERRERO NAKPIL
CRESENCIANA P. PAGUIO
BENJAMIN M. PASCUAL
PONCIANO B.P. PINEDA
RICARDO R. POBLETE
FERNANDO POE, JR.
GRACE PLAZO PREIRES
SERAFIN D. QUIASON
CLESENCIO B. RAMBAUD
ARMIDA SIGUION REYNA
OPHELIA SAN JUAN
MANUAL SATORRE, JR.
MAR AL. LIBURCIO
ROLANDO S. TINIO
MALOU S. VALDEZ
FE ALDAVE YAP
HUGO C. YONZON, JR.