Joma on removal of books from libraries: ‘Stupid book-burning fascists’
National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison slammed reports government intelligence agencies are actively asking universities to have his books removed from their libraries.
Following reports Isabela State University (ISU) turned 23 of his books over to the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) earlier this week, Sison said the move violates freedom of thought and belief as well as academic freedom.
“Those in power are stupid book-burning fascists,” Sison said of the decision of university president Ricmar Aquino to remove his books from ISU’s 11 campuses.
Twenty-three of Sison’s books were removed from ISU’s libraries, including “Building People’s Power,” “Defeating Revisionism & Opportunism,” “Crisis Generates Resistance,” “Building Strength through Struggle” and “Continuing the Struggle for Liberation,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported Thursday.
ISU also turned over to the NICA were copies of Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP)-NDFP peace talks books, versions of which were published by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process across several administrations.
The move came three weeks after Kalinga State University (KSU) removed 11 GRP-NDFP peace talks books from its libraries.
READ: Groups slam school’s decision to turn over peace books to military
Administrators from both schools said their decisions were made to prevent their students from being influenced by Left-leaning ideology.
Reports indicate however government intelligence agencies are actively asking universities to remove Sison and NDFP books from their collections.
A source informed Kodao that NICA officials are visiting Nueva Ecija colleges and universities to undertake similar activities.
“NICA is visiting libraries of universities and colleges in some provinces to get rid of any books or references about NDFP and…by Joma Sison,” the source said.
“This is worse than during (Ferdinand Marcos’) martial law,” the source added.
Sison said the books’ removal from university libraries is a throwback from the Cold War and that the “military idiots” are blind to the fact that his and NDFP’s books are available online.
“They are afraid of ideas that advocate the attainment of national full national independence, people’s democracy, development through genuine land reform and national industrialization, a patriotic, scientific and mass-oriented culture and independent foreign policy,” Sison said.
“They are totally barbaric and ignorant of the fact that revolutionary ideas cannot be stopped from circulating through the internet in the Philippines and internationally,” he added.
Kodao’s efforts to interview officials of the government’s National Book Development Board (NBDB) failed. Higher Education commissioner and KSU Board of Regents chairperson Lilian de las Llagas also refused to reply to Kodao’s three-week old request for comment.
“[Books] are instrumental in the citizenry’s intellectual, technical and cultural development – the basic social foundation for the economic and social growth of the country,” Republic Act 8047, the law that created the NBDB, says. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)