KWF to revoke ban on alleged subversive books, says lawmaker

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 21 2022 03:54 PM

MANILA — The Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino will rescind an order banning the publication of books that that it tagged as subversive, a lawmaker said on Wednesday. 

Some commissioners of the KWF, a body tasked to promote and develop the Filipino language, moved to restrict through a resolution the distribution of award-winning books they considered as anti-government. Some groups said this violates freedom of expression. 

"There is a commitment to rectify this wrongdoing and to rescind the said resolution so that our cultural agencies, including the KWF, will continue to be bastions of freedom of expression here in the country," Pangasinan Fourth District Rep. Christopher de Venecia said during the plenary deliberation of the commission's budget. 

De Venecia, sponsor of the agency's budget during the deliberations, said the commitment to rescind the ban came from KWF chairperson Arthur Casanova "because again, it is not in line with the mandate" of the body. 

Three commissioners "have already retracted their signatures" from the ban as of Monday night, De Venecia told House Deputy Minority Leader France Castro during her interpellation.
 
The KWF board will meet on Sept. 24, he added. 

In August, Albay First District Rep. Edcel Lagman filed a House resolution seeking a congressional probe the KWF's memorandum. 

He branded as "unauthorized and illegal" the memorandum against “Teatro Pulitikal Dos” by Malou Jacob, “Kalatas: Mga Kuwentong Bayan at Kuwentong Buhay” by Rommel 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 Cayanes, “May Hadlang ang Umaga” by Don Pagusara, and “Labas: Mga Palabas sa Labas ng Sentro” by Reuel Aguila.

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