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Group continues fight to retain Filipino, Panitikan in language curriculum

/ 09:22 PM June 10, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — In a last ditch effort to convince the Supreme Court to retain Filipino and Panitikan in the language curriculum, members of the Alyansa ng mga Tagapagtanggol ng Wikang Filipino (Tanggol Wika) submitted a letter protesting the decision to exclude the two subjects from the general college curriculum.

In a letter addressed to Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin, the group described the high court’s ruling as an “imminent cultural genocide.”

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The high court’s ruling junked with finality the motions for reconsideration against its October 2018 decision upholding a memorandum issued by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) excluding Filipino and Panitikan (Filipino literature) from the general college curriculum.

The high court said petitioners failed to offer new and substantial arguments that would warrant a reversal of their earlier decision.

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READ: Group appeals SC ruling vs Filipino, ‘panitikan

But Tanggol Wika, an organization of Filipino language advocates, said the decision is “patently unjust” in view of the number of Filipino teachers who might be displaced, among others.

The group said at least 10,000 teachers, especially part-timers, could easily lose their teaching loads or jobs as soon as school administrators start implementing the SC decision.

“As the national language is a strong social glue that binds our archipelago, it is not an exaggeration to say our country’s survival is also at stake here,” the group said in its 22-page letter.

The group said the CHED memorandum violates the 1987 Constitution by retaining and prioritizing English over the Filipino language and by “reversing” the official use of Filipino in the educational system.

“It is a travesty to allow CHED to make a regressive move on language policy when the Constitution mandates forward action, continuous progress into the process of cultivating the national language,” Tanggol Wika said.

“Both CHED and the SC have somehow decided to kill our country’s soul, our people’s capacity to think freely, the mark of our liberty and collective consciousness,” the group added.

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One of the group’s convenors, David Michael San Juan, said their lawyers opted not to file a second motion for reconsideration before the high court due to the slim chance that the magistrates would grant it.

Under the rules, a second motion for reconsideration is a prohibited pleading. (Editor: Eden Estopace)

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TAGS: Filipino, language curriculum, Panitikan, Philippine News
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