Filipino curriculum backers cite absence of SC oral arguments

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Supreme Court

ALYANSA ng mga Tagapagtanggol ng Wikang Filipino (Tanggol Wika) on Monday filed a protest against the Supreme Court’s (SC) March 5 resolution denying its motion to halt the exclusion of Filipino as a core university subject.

In a 20-page letter of protest addressed to the Justices, Tanggol Wika said public oral arguments should have been held for all K to 12 related cases.

“We believe that the High Court should have conducted public oral arguments for all K to 12-related cases as these cases are transcendental in nature, having unique and compelling arguments, filed by a long list of individual leaders of organizations that count tens of millions of citizens among its fold,” it said.

“It is unfortunate that the High Court did not conduct public oral arguments for the case that Tanggol Wika filed, and for the other K to 12-related cases,” it said, noting that High Court conducted oral arguments on the issue of same-sex marriage which was filed by an individual.

In a five-page notice of resolution dated March 5, the SC “denied with finality” the motions for reconsideration against its Oct. 9, 2018 decision.

It reiterated that the assailed Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Memorandum Order No. 20, which removed Filipino and Panitikan as required subjects for university did not violate the Constitution as it merely transferred the subjects to primary and secondary education and only provides minimum standards for the general education component of all degree programs.

Tanggol Wika also said that the decision of the SC is “patently unjust as it involves the violation of the Constitution’s language provisions, acts that will kill the soul of the General Education curriculum in college — Filipino and Panitikan; and clearly, the assailed decision is not only ‘potentially’ but also actually ‘capable of causing unwarranted and irremediable injury or damage to the parties.’”

It added that it caused the displacement of hundreds of faculty members in various universities with “full impact” potentially affecting at least 10,000 educators.

The group also noted that the memorandum of CHED is “illegal and unconstitutional act” of stopping “what has been initiated,” which is contrary to the mandate of the Constitution for the official use of Filipino in the education system to be sustained and continued.

It also said that relegating the two subjects to the elementary and secondary education only, “defeats the purpose laid down by the Constitution and certainly go against the Constitutional Commission’s vision.”

Article XIV, Section 6 of the Constitution states that Filipino “shall be further developed and enriched based on the existing Philippine and other languages.” It also said that the government shall take steps to initiate and sustain Filipino as medium of official communication and language of instruction. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas