MANILA, Philippines – For the 3rd time since President Rodrigo Duterte was sworn into power, multi-awarded poet and screenwriter Jerry Gracio resigned from his current post as Commissioner for Samar-Leyte Languages at the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino.
Gracio, a senior writer of the embattled ABS-CBN, submitted the resignation letter on July 11 and made it public on Monday, July 13. He tendered his resignation to Duterte through the commission’s office-in-charge, Arthur Casanova.
“I cannot anymore serve a fascist government, even on a holdover capacity,” said Gracio, in a tweet to accompany his resignation letter.
Gracio has resigned from the post twice before – when Duterte won the 2016 elections and again on January 10, 2020. “Napipilitan na lamang akong gampanan ang tungkulin dahil wala kayong itinitalagang kapalit ko,” he said.
(I’m only forced to fulfill my role because you have not appointed a replacement.)
“Bilang manunulat, hindi ko na kinakaya ang magsilbi sa isang administrasyon na walang pagpapahalaga sa karapatang pantao at malayang pamamahayan at lantarang nagpapamansag ng fasismo ng Estado,” he added.
(As a writer, I cannot serve an administration that does not value human rights and free speech, and blatantly furthers fascism.)
“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?”
(What use is language when people are dead?)
Gracio was appointed to the post in 2013. – Rappler.com