MANILA – Students at the University of the Philippines Diliman ran down a college hallway naked on Friday as part of a decades-old Oblation Run tradition for social and political causes.
The run on Friday was organized at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman in Quezon City, northeast of Manila, an epa journalist reported.
Officially dubbed “Oblation Run” and colloquially referred to as the “naked run,” the event aimed to send strong social and political messages, with this year’s theme being “End Wars, not Lives.”
Male members of the college’s Alpha Phi Omega International Collegiate Service Fraternity (APO), walked down the hallway, wearing nothing but white face masks splashed with red paint, apparently representing blood, and held placards with messages including “end state fascism,” “stop the killing,” “resume peace talks,” “lift martial law,” “rebuild Marawi” and “resist crackdown.”
The messages also referred to “wars on many fronts” that the Filipino people are facing including the war against terrorism as seen in the Marawi crisis, the imposition of Martial Law on the southern island of Mindanao and the war against illegal drugs that is “failing to capture big-time crime lords but has already racked up a death toll in the thousands, with children counted among the dead,” according to an APO statement Friday.
The statement added that “aggression” is committed against the country’s indigenous peoples, “2017 being a year that has seen the displacement of many communities due to intense militarization and aerial bombing campaigns in the countryside.”
It also touches on the collapse of peace talks between the government and the CPP-NPA-NDF communist coalition that “only prolongs the state of war felt sharply by millions of Filipinos who live far from the relative safety of Manila.”
The runners received huge support from watching crowds of fellow students, who cheered them as they moved past, and shouted “Duterte Dictator.”
The Oblation Run is an annual event of the APO at UP Diliman, and began in 1977 amid a flurry of student activism in the martial law period imposed by late president Ferdinand Marcos.
That 1977 run involved two brothers of the fraternity who ran naked on the campus as a promotional gimmick for a film that was screened at UP and that Marcos deemed politically dangerous.