‘A clear violation of right to free press’: Labor group condemns KWF’s order to ban ‘subversive’ books

Published August 14, 2022, 9:19 PM

by Charie Mae F. Abarca

Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) denounced Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino’s (KWF) order to stop the production and distribution of “political,” “subversive,” and “anti-government” books in schools and public libraries, calling it a bold and clear violation of every Filipinos’ right to free press.

(Kilusang Mayo Uno)

“Ang kautusang ito ay malinaw na paglabag at pag-atake sa karapatan ng mamamayan sa malayang pamamahayag at kalayaang akademiko. Ito ay tahasang pagyurak sa mahaba at nagpapatuloy na kasaysayan ng ating bayan sa paglaban sa diktadurya, nagpapatuloy na kahirapan, at pagsasamantala sa mamamayang Pilipino (This order is a clear violation and attack on the citizen’s right to free press and academic freedom. This is a clear violation of the long and ongoing history of our country in the fight against dictatorship, ongoing poverty, and exploitation of the Filipino people),” said KMU Secretary General Jerome Adonis.

KWF, in a memorandum dated Aug. 9, 2022, directed its personnel to end the production and distribution of “subversive” and “anti-government” books in schools and public libraries. The list of books include Teatro Politikal by Malou Jacob; Kalatas: Mga Kuwentong Bayan at Kuwentong Buhay by Rommel Rodriguez; Tawid-diwa sa Pananagisag ni Bienvenido Lumbera: Ang Bayan, Manunulat, at ang Magasing Sagisag sa Imahinatibong Yugto ng Batas Militar 1975 – 1979 by Dexter Cayanes; May Hadlang ang Umaga by Don Pagusara; and Labas: Mga Palabas sa Labas ng Sentro ni Reuel Aguila.

KWF cited a section of Republic Act (RA) No. 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 on “inciting to terrorism” as the rational motive to ban the aforementioned books.

Meanwhile, the labor group reiterated that in times of crisis and poverty, there should be no room for distortion of history.

“Ang higit na kailangan ay mga akdang sumasalamin sa tunay na danas ng mamamayan. Hindi dapat tayo mangimi na maging kritiko ng gobyerno lalo na kung bulag at bingi ito sa panawagan ng masang Pilipino (What is most needed are books that reflect the real life of the people. We should not be afraid to be critics of the government especially if it is blind and deaf to the call of Filipinos),” Adonis added.

 
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