‘Ano ang silbi ng wika kung patay na ang mga tao’: KWF commissioner quits over gov’t stab at press freedom
Komisyoner para sa mga Wika ng Samar-Leyte Jerry B. Gracio leaves his post after a third attempt citing “fascist” government’s disregard of human rights and press freedom
Jul 13, 2020
Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino (KWF) commissioner and multi-awarded poet and screenwriter Jerry B. Gracio has had it with the government. On a Twitter post this morning, Gracio who has twice expressed his intention to leave his post as Komisyoner para sa mga Wika ng Samar-Leyte, said he “cannot anymore serve a fascist government, even on a holdover capacity.”
I cannot anymore serve a fascist government, even on a holdover capacity. pic.twitter.com/9vNLRnoY2T
— Jerry B. Grácio (@JerryGracio) July 13, 2020
According to the resignation letter he submitted on July 11 to President Rodrigo Duterte through KWF’s officer-in-charge Arthur Casanova, he was only forced to stay and fulfill his duty because KWF has failed to find him a replacement.
Gracio, who also works for ABS-CBN, cited the administration’s disregard of human rights and the free press. He first resigned in 2016, three years into the post when Duterte was elected president.
“Bilang manunulat, hindi ko na kinakaya na magsilbi sa isang administrasyon na walang pagpapahalaga sa karapatang pantao at malayang pamamahayag at lantarang napapamansag ng fasismo ng Estado.”
Last Friday, July 10, the House of Representatives’ Committee on Legislative Franchises denied ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal application with a vote 70-11. In making the decision for ABS-CBN’s franchise, various lawmakers including Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano have insisted that the issue of ABS-CBN is not an issue of press freedom.
“Kay aananuhon pa man an mga yakan, an mga pulong kun patay na an mga tawo? —Ano ang silbi ng wika kung patay na ang mga tao?” Gracio added.
Header photo courtesy of Jerry Gracio
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