ABS-CBN writer Jerry Gracio filed his resignation from his position as commissioner of the Samar-Leyte languages at the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, saying he can no longer “serve a fascist government.”
Gracio shared his resignation dated July 11 to the public on Monday. It was addressed to President Rodrigo Duterte and coursed through KWF’s officer-in-charge Arthur Casanova.
In his letter, Gracio said he first filed his resignation when President Rodrigo Duterte became the President in 2016. He then submitted another resignation in January 2020. He noted he was forced to continue to perform his duties as Duterte has not chosen anyone to replace him.
“Sa pamamagitan nito, muli kong inihahapag ang pagbibitiw sa tungkulin bilang Komisyoner para sa mga Wika ng Samar-Leyte sa Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, na una kong inihapag noong maluklok kayo sa puwesto, at muling ko inilapag noong 10 Enero 2020. Napipilitan na lamang akong gampanan ang tungkulin dahil wala kayong itinatalagang kapalit ko,” he said.
Gracio said, as a writer, he could not serve an administration that does not value human rights and free speech.
“Bilang manunulat, hindi ko na kinakaya na magsilbi sa isang adminitrasyon na walang pagpapahalaga sa karapatang pantao at malayang pamamahayg at lantarang nagpapamansag ng fasismo ng Estado,” Gracio said.
“Kay aananuhon pa man an mga yakan, an mga pulong kun patay na ang mga tawo? – Ano ang silbi ng wika kung patay na ang mga tao?” the ABS-CBN writer added.
(What are words for if the people are dead?)
The KWF is the official regulating body of the Filipino language.
Last week, Rhodora Bucoy and Noreen Capili also resigned from their posts as chairperson and commissioner for media and arts, respectively, at the Philippine Commission on Women.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano earlier said it was the owners of ABS-CBN, and not the government shut the ABS-CBN down.
“It wasn’t the government who shut ABS-CBN down, rather it was their owners’ playing fast and loose with our laws in the past decades, that made the shutdown inevitable,” Cayetano said in a statement.
The House Committee on Legislative Franchises voted July 10 to deny the franchise renewal application of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation.