English author Neil Gaiman shared his two cents about the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) red-tagging Adarna House for putting books about Martial Law on sale.
"Not good," the Coraline writer tweeted on May 13 in response to Rappler's post about the issue.
Not good. https://t.co/1fQJhwCyMg— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) May 12, 2022
On May 12, NICA Director-General Alex Paul Monteagudo wrote a Facebook post about how the publishing house is using the sale to "subtly radicalize" children.
"This is how the CPP/NPA/NF radicalize not just our youths, but our children. The Adarna Publishing House published these books and they are now on sale to subtly radicalize the Filipino children against our government," he said.
Gaiman himself had numerous books banned in the past for different reasons, including Coraline, Absolute Sandman, and Neverwhere for being "unsuitable" for their intended age group.
'No to red-tagging'
Augie Rivera, the writer of one of the books in the bundle Si Jhun-Jhun, Noong Bago Ideklara ang Batas Militar, condemned the allegations that his book is connected to the groups mentioned.
"Bilang 'historical fiction,' tampok [sa libro] ang mga kuwento ng pakikipagsapalaran at pagkamulat ng mga kabataan at mahahalagang pangyayari at aral ng ating kasaysayan. #NoToRedTagging," Rivera said on Facebook.
In March, local independent bookstores Popular Bookstore and Solidaridad were vandalized with "NPA" tags.
Adarna House announced the #NeverAgain bundle on May 11, two days after the national elections and after partial and unofficial election returns were posted. Bongbong Marcos Jr., the son of Ferdinand Marcos Sr.—the president who placed the country under martial law from 1972 to 1981—received 31 million votes in the 2022 poll.