Back in 1989, then-President Corazon “Cory” Aquino ordered the ban of the release of Lino Brocka’s “Orapronobis” (Fight For Us) due to the subversive message. The said film depicted the human rights violations after the Martial Law era. Watch the full movie below. Warning: The film is rated SPG, and is not suited for the young audience.
Produced by Cannon Films, it starred Philip Salvador (as Jimmy Cordero, a former priest and a political detainee who was released after Martial Law, Dina Bonnevie (as Trixie, a human rights activist and wife of Jimmy), Gina Alajar (as Esper, Jimmy’s ex-girlfriend) and Bembol Roco (as Kumander Kontra, the leader of the vigilante group, Orapronobis).
At the start of the movie, a foreign priest in Santa Filomena gave the last rites to a rebel. The priest learned that members of the Orapronobis killed him. Shortly after, Kumander Kontra and his men arrived and mocked the dead rebel. He burned the motorcycle of the priest and shot him in the head. Then, actual footages of the 1986 EDSA Revolution was seen.
Later, Jimmy along with other political prisoners was released. They believed that there will no longer have cases of human rights abuses under Cory Aquino administration. Jimmy then married Trixie, and later became an advocate of human rights just like her. Meanwhile, the armed group Orapronobis continued to massacre innocent people.
Cordero, who spent eight years in the mountains as part of an underground revolutionary during Martial Law and was jailed for six years, was then tasked to investigate the murder of the foreign priest in Santa Filomena. There, Jimmy then met his ex-girlfriend, Esper and found out that he has a son with her, named Camilo. Jimmy then led a team to help evacuate the residents of Santa Filomena and brought to Manila. He was invited by a friend to rejoin the underground movement, but he declined the offer. However, he and Roland (Trixie’s brother) were ambushed, and Roland was killed. Later, the Orapronobis abducted Trixie and Camilo from the refugee center.
Kontra raped Trixie in front of Camilo, but Trixie fought back and shot him. He killed everyone including Esper and Camilo. Later, the military arrived brought the dead bodies to the town, and Jimmy wept after seeing the lifeless bodies of Esper and their son. Before the film ended, Jimmy accepted the offer to return to the underground revolutionary.
In short, Orapronobis depicted the human rights abuses under the Cory Aquino administration. This is despite the fact that Cory was dubbed as the champion of democracy when she replaced Ferdinand Marcos. The film was only allowed to be shown in public after it premiered at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival.
In 1977, the-President Marcos established an irregular paramilitary force called Civilian Home Defense Forces (CHDF). Its task is to assist the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in its counter-insurgency campaigns and was supervised by provincial governors, city, and municipal mayors, in coordination with the police and the army.
However, CHDF was disbanded in 1987, a year after Cory became president. Nevertheless, it was immediately replaced by the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU), and CHDF members were recalled. It is being believed that the “Counter-Insurgency” operations during Cory’s regime were financed by the US government.
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