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Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino releases list of 'subversive,' 'anti-government' books to ban in schools, libraries

By AYIE LICSI Published Aug 11, 2022 7:25 pm Updated Aug 11, 2022 7:56 pm

The Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) has released a list of "subversive" and "anti-government" books that it wants to ban from schools and libraries.

In a memorandum dated Aug. 9, the commission said they are calling for the pull out of the books so they would "not be held liable" under the Anti-Terrorism Act (RA 11479) for inciting to commit terrorism.

Among the set of literary works covered by the ban are books by renowned writers and a published thesis on the works of late National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera during martial law.

Here are the following books deemed to be "anti-government" according to the memorandum:

  • Teatro Pulitikal Dos 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
  • Labas: Mga Palabas sa Labas ng Sentro by Reuel M. Aguila

The works by Jacob, Rodriguez, and Pagusara were published by the KWF and featured in April.

Former KWF Leyte-Samar commissioner Jerry Grácio spurned the memo and called it an act of "red-tagging" and a signal of "the death of scholarship."

The banning of the books comes as the Philippines celebrates Buwan ng Wika.

KWF Board 'condemns' publication of 'subversive' books

On Aug. 10, the KWF Board of Commissioners released a separate statement, obtained by SMNI News, which condemned the publication of the books under KWF Chairman Arthur P. Casanova.

"We the board of Commissioners would like to report to your good office the books with subversive themes, explicit Anti-Marcos and Anti-Duterte contents, publications of which were authorized by Chairman of KWF Arthur P. Casanova."

They claimed the books were "poisoning scholars with these political text types." The Board also said they are not complicit in publishing the materials, which are "not the kind" the commissions produce.

Before banning the books, SMNI News hosts Dr. Lorraine Badoy, Jeffrey "Ka Eric" Celiz, and LTC. Frank Syson red-tagged Casanova and the books listed above on Aug. 9.