They called out Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino signatories who said certain books are subversive.
Amidst Buwan ng Wika, Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) has issued a memorandum to pull out “subversive” books on schools and libraries for “being anti-government.” A group composed of Makata Ng Taon winners reacted to their memo.
Included in the titles tagged as “subversive” and “anti-government” books are:
- Teatro Politikal Dos by Malou Jacob
- Kalatas: Mga Kwentong Bayan at Kwentong Buhay by Romel 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
- Labas: Mga Palabas sa Labas ng Sentro by Reuel M. Aguila
Meanwhile, a group composed of Makata ng Taon from different years had something to say about the KWF’s move to pull out certain books.
They expressed their dismay in a statement. They also condemned the KWF’s branding of the books as “subversive.”
The award-winning poets also said they fear that using the Anti-Terror Law as a basis for censorship endangers authors. Scholars’ and writers’ freedom of speech enables them to show the fruits of their labor over the years.
With that, they stand with scholars and writers in seeking truth.
Makata Ng Taon Winners Speak Up
Karl Orit and Aldrin Pentero shared their thoughts regarding the issue with FreebieMNL.
In a virtual interview, Aldrin Pentero expressed his sorrow over what the KWF said about the books. He believes that put artists and writers in danger. For him, this is an alarming matter.
“Nakababahala ang walang habas na pag-atake at paglalagay sa panganib sa mga manunulat at mga alagad ng sining,” he says. “Kailangang itigil itong agad at protektahan ang kalayaang magpahayag.”
2020 Makata ng Taon Karl Orit, on the other hand, condemns the red-tagging of the country’s writers.
“Kinokondena ang pang re-red tag sa mga manunulat ng bansa,” Orit says.
For Orit, it’s sad that it came to this. More so because it’s Buwan ng Wika. Orit adds that the enrichment of the Filipino language should’ve been the focus of this month.
“Nakakalungkot na umabot sa ganito ang pangre-red tag sa mga manunulat at akademiko. Kung kailan pa buwan ng wika saka ganun ang nangyari—kung kailan nakatuon sana tayo sa pagdiriwang sa yaman ng ating mga wika, habang pinag-uusapan dapat natin ang mga puwedeng gawin pagyamanin ang mga ito. Mas nabibigyang pansin tuloy ang mga ganitong mga bagay na nanggugulat, o nakapapangilabot.” Orit says.
Secondly, Orit stresses that what the KWF did doesn’t help protect freedom of expression.
In line with the collective statement they released, they seek the resignation of the people who signed KWF’s memo and branded books as subversive.