Group appeals SC ruling vs Filipino, ‘panitikan’
MANILA, Philippines — The group that asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision allowing the removal of Filipino and “panitikan” (Filipino literature) as required subjects in colleges said it would file another motion for reconsideration (MR) after the high court reaffirmed its ruling.
Alyansa ng mga Tagapagtanggol ng Wikang Filipino (Tanggol Wika) filed an MR in November after the court upheld Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 20, which removed the study of Filipino, panitikan and the Constitution from college curriculums.
Exhaust all remedies
The high court found the MR to be “unmeritorious,” citing its alleged failure to introduce any new and substantial arguments.
Tanggol Wika, a coalition of professors, students and activists, said it saw ample basis to file a second MR and would exhaust all legal remedies before backing down.
“The high court has entertained many second MRs on cases which don’t even have national significance,” the group said.
Not only was this a case of national significance, according to Tanggol Wika, it was a “choice between our collective survival as a nation and our collective death as a free country.”
“If it will take a second MR to stop this impending cultural genocide, we might as well do it,” the group added.
Though the Constitution mandates the study of Filipino, the high court said it did not specify at which educational level it needed to be taught.
“Thus, CMO 20 did not violate the Constitution when it merely transferred these subjects as part of the curriculum of primary and secondary education,” the Supreme Court said.
In its statement, Tanggol Wika urged the high court to examine the “spirit of the Constitution” rather than dwell on technicalities.
“We cannot be timid in propagating our own national language and literature,” the group said.
“The ravaging tides of globalization and cultural homogenization will surely wipe Filipino and panitikan out, if we refuse to institutionalize their propagation in our whole education system,” it added.
The CHEd stopped implementing CMO 20 in 2015 after the high court issued a temporary restraining order against it.
Pending a final decision from the high court, it still has yet to execute the order.
Tanggol Wika called on the CHEd to refrain from using the most recent notice as a go signal to carry out the order, as the group would still move to appeal it.
It also asked Congress to resolve the “crisis” by passing legislation that would require Filipino subjects in college.