High court asked to save Filipino subject

November 26, 2018
Supreme Court

THE Supreme Court has been asked by a group of professors and students to reconsider its decision upholding a memorandum from the Commission on Higher Education removing the Filipino language and literature as college subjects.

In a motion for reconsideration, Tanggol Wika claimed that the SC ruling could lead to the erosion of the Filipino language and identity.

“Petitioners note that students cannot be left with just basic bokabularyo and balarila. Mandated Filipino units in college aim to develop and enrich our national language, propagate it by instilling in the youth higher order mastery and practice of the Filipino language,” the group said.

The SC previously ruled that CHED Memorandum Order No. 20 was constitutional and does not violate any laws, noting that the framers of the Constitution “explained that the use of Filipino as a medium of official communication is still subject to provisions of law.”

The SC also declared that the institutionalizing law of the K-12 program, which requires students to undergo one year of kindergarten and adds two years to high school, was constitutional.

However, Tanggol Wika argued that the whole Constitution “is still presumed to be self-executory,” and exceptions must be “limited and strictly construed against government and more favorably interpreted in favor of the rights denigrated.”

“A contrary position will leave the constitutionally declared rights of the people, such as the right to education and labor rights, vulnerable to being diminished or defeated at the hands of a government or any part thereof which fails, whether deliberately or otherwise, to act on the mandates of the Constitution,” it said.

Tanggol Wika also said the exclusion of Filipino from the college curriculum “reverses the decades of efforts of trying to put Filipino in higher education.”