Alliance of Filipino women, Gabriela, on Friday, Aug. 12, slammed Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino’s (KWF) order to stop the production and distribution of “subversive” and “anti-government” books.
“Ipinapaalala natin sa gobyerno na tungkulin nitong ipatupad ang nasasaad sa Saligang Batas ng Pilipinas at protektahan ang mga karapatan ng mamamayan, kabilang na rito ang malayang pagpapahayag at kalayaang pang-akademiko (We are reminding the government that its duty is to implement what is stated in the Philippine Constitution and to protect the rights of the people, including the freedom of expression and academic freedom),” said Gabriela in a press statement.
This was released after KWF issued a memorandum dated Aug. 9, 2022, directing its personnel to end the production and distribution of “subversive” and “anti-government” books in schools and public libraries, citing a section of Republic Act No. 11479 on “inciting to terrorism” as the rational motive to ban the books.
These books include Teatro Politikal by Malou Jacob; Kalatas: Mga Kuwentong Bayan at Kuwentong Buhay by Rommel B. Rodriguez; Tawid-diwa sa Pananagisag ni Bienvenido Lumbera: Ang Bayan, ang Manunulat, at ang Magasing Sagisag sa Imahinatibong Yugto ng Batas Militar 1975 – 1979 by Dexter B. Cayanes; May Hadlang ang Umaga by Don Pagusara; and Labas: Mga Palabas sa Labas ng Sentro ni Reuel Aguila.
Meanwhile, Gabriela reiterated that the people’s right to freedom and expression does not equate to terrorism.
“Hindi terorismo ang magsulong ng makabayang posisyon, sa porma man ng malikhaing akda o protesta. Hindi terorismo ang kwestiyunin at ilantad ang mga kamalian at pang-aabuso ng mga nasa kapangyarihan (Promoting a patriotic position, whether in the form of creative writing or protest, is not terrorism. To question and expose the wrongdoings and abuses of those in power is not terrorism),” said Gabriela.
“Hindi natin papayagang tatanggalan tayo ng karapatang tumutol sa mga anti-mamamayang polisiyang ipinatutupad ng gobyerno. Tuloy-tuloy nating tutulan at labanan ang terorismo ng estado (We will not allow our right to protest against the anti-people policies implemented by the government to be taken away from us. Let us continue to oppose and fight state terrorism),” it furthered, urging the public to remain vigilant and to continue defending people’s rights.