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Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino Chairman Arthur Casanova rejects red-tagging allegations, issues statement on banned books list

By AYIE LICSI Published Aug 12, 2022 8:02 pm

Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) Chairman Arthur P. Casanova has issued a statement denying allegations that he allowed the publication of "subversive" materials and accusations that his office has been infiltrated by the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army.

In a memorandum dated Aug. 9, the KWF released a list of "anti-government" books that it wants to ban from schools and libraries so it would "not be held liable" under the Anti-Terrorism Act (RA 11479).

SMNI News hosts Dr. Lorraine Badoy, Jeffrey "Ka Eric" Celiz, and LTC. Frank Syson also red-tagged Casanova, saying he wanted to "use the cover of the KWF to lend legitimacy to the subversive documents which have already been released."

On Aug. 10, the KWF Board of Commissioners reportedly issued a separate statement holding Casanova accountable for the publication of the said materials. 

The chairman rejected this, saying all books that are allegedly subversive, passed through the commission's review process.

"All the books underwent the usual scrutiny that all publications of the KWF must pass, including receiving the imprimatur of the other two full-time commissioners. I did not railroad nor force any publication," he wrote on Facebook on Aug. 12.

Casanova also said that calling the materials "subversive" is a "dangerous accusation which may already be stepping on the boundaries of freedom of expression and academic freedom."

Among the books banned are works by Malou Jacob, Reuel Aguila, and Dexter Cayanes' thesis citing National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera's writing. The materials were published and featured in April.

The chairman claimed that these allegations were just the latest in a series of actions aimed to "destroy" his character and "disrupt efforts to strengthen and cleanse the KWF."

Casanova added that he is prepared to face the allegations before a Congressional hearing or the Office of the President. He also called on the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and the Anti-Terrorism Council to investigate the claims against him.