19th century

Topics: Literature, Literary theory, Fiction Pages: 11 (3834 words) Published: April 10, 2014
Republic Act No. 1425, popularly known as the Rizal Law, directs all public and private schools, colleges, and universities to include in their curricula courses or subjects on the life, works, and writings of Dr. Jose Rizal, particularly the novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. The Board of National Education is given the mandate to carry out and enforce the Rizal Law. It was approved on 12 June 1956. Senate bill 438 known as Rizal Bill which was first authored by Senator Claro M. Recto - requiring the inclusion in the curricula of all private and public schools, colleges and universities the life, works and writings of Jose Rizal particularly his novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. Normally, before the bill was approved and implemented in all schools and was signed into a law known as Republic Act 1425, it had been brought to the Upper and Lower House of the Congress for deliberations. But what made it controversial is that the bill was not just fiercely opposed by people from Legislative Arm but also by the Catholic Church due to the inclusion of compulsory reading of Rizal's novels in which according to them, catholic dogmas are humiliated. Senator Recto brought the bill to the Senate and Senator Jose B. Laurel Sr. who was then the Chairman of the Committee on Education sponsored the bill that consequently led to exchange of arguments from the Congress. The bill was headedly opposed by three senators namely Senator Francisco Rodrigo who was a former Catholic Action President, Senator Mariano Cuenco and SenatorDecoroso Rosales who was the brother of Julio Rosales, an archbishop. Other oppositors were from Lower House namely Congressmen Ramon Durano, Marciano Lim, Jose Nuguid, Manuel Soza, Godofredo Ramos, Miguel Cuenco, Lucas Paredes, Congressmen Carmen Consing and Tecia San Andres Ziga. The Catholic Church was indirectly included in the debates and played a major role for the intervention of signing of the bill into a law. Allied with the church in battle against Rizal Bill were the Holy Name Society of the Philippines, Catholic Action of the Philippines,Legion of Mary, Knights of Columbus and Daughters of Isabela. Oppositions argued that the bill would go against freedom of conscience and religion, The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) submitted a pastoral letter to which according, Rizalviolated Canon Law 1399 which forbids or bans books that attack or ridicule the catholic doctrine and practices. Oppositors argued that among the 333 pages of Noli Me Tangere, only 25 passages are nationalistic while 120 passages are anti-catholic. While upon scrutiny of thetwo novels by some members of catholic hierarchial, 170 passages in Noli Me Tangere and 50 in El Filibusterismo are against catholic fatih. Furthermore, oppositors pointed out that Rizal admitted that he did not only attack the friars who acted deceptively on the Filipinos but also the catholic faith itself. They suggested a reading material for students as to what they called Rizalian Anthology, a collection of Rizal's literary works that contain the patriotic philosophy excluding the two novels. Of course, Recto and Laurel defended the bill and argued that the only objective of the bill is to keep the memory of the national hero alive in every Filipino's mind, to emanate Rizal as he peacefully fought for freedom, and not to go against religion. Senators Lorenso Tanada, Quintin Paredes and Domocao Alonto of Mindanao also defended Rizal Bill which was also favored by Representatives from the House namely Congressmen Jacobo Gonzales, Emilio Cortez, Mario Bengson, Joaquin Roxas, Lancap Lagumbay and Pedro Lopez. Other supporters of the bill were Mayor Arsenio Lacson call anti-rizal bill "bigoted and intolerant" and walked out of a mass when the priest read a pastoral letter from the Archbishop denouncing the Rizal Bill aqnd General Emilio Aguinaldo with groups like the Knights of Rizal, Women Writers of the...
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