A group of professors and students in Filipino and Philippine Literature courses on Monday asked the Supreme Court to reverse its ruling last month that upheld the exclusion of the two subjects from college curriculum.
Members of the Alyansa ng Mga Tagapagtanggol ng Wikang Filipino (Tanggol Wika Network) trooped to the SC compound in Padre Faura Street in Manila and filed their motion for reconsideration of the decision that upheld the Commission on Higher Education Memorandum Circular No 20-2013, which reduced the general education curriculum to a minimum of 36 units.
They assailed the finding of the SC that there was no removal of the two subjects in school curriculum as the changes in the General Education curriculum only ensured that there would be no duplication of subjects in grade school, high school, and college.
“Petitioners showed in their petition that when Filipino in the core curriculum of basic education [senior and junior high school, in particular] is put side-by-side with Filipino in the general education curriculum in the tertiary level, it can be seen that there are matters covered in the latter which are not covered in the former,” the motion for reconsideration stated.
The group also again argued that the assailed CHED order violated Section 6, Article XIV of the 1987 Constitution, which provides for the use of Filipino language as a medium of instruction.
“The language of our fundamental law is mandatory, with its use of ‘shall,’ which leaves neither Congress nor any part of government to which the mandate is directed any choice as to whether to ‘take steps’ or not,” appellants said.
“The Court may have cited an exchange in the constitutional deliberations to declare that Section 6 is ‘not self-executory.’ However, there are mutilple references in the debates to support the conclusion that the Framers intended not to leave the matter entirely to Congress or government. Several commissioners enunciated the position of the committee and the plenary that the mandates in the language provisions are to be self-executory,” they added.
With these arguments, Tanggol Wika Network asked the SC to reverse its Oct. 9 unanimous decision on the CHED order.
The SC decision upheld the constitutionality of the controversial K-12 program of the Department of Education.