The controversial film ‘Innocense of Muslims’ can be used and discussed in the classrooms of the University of the Philippines, the Office of the Chancellor of UP made it clear on Saturday.
During a dzMM radio interview, Chancellor Caesar Saloma clarified that what he disallowed was the public showing of the film inside the school. This move was criticized by UP Prof. Harry Roque as violative of the academic freedom of expression.
Chancellor Saloma’s point was to determine the value of the film first before showing it to the public . His memorandum did not prevent professors from discussing about the issue or showing the film in class if it has relevance to the subject matter, he said.
Saloma bared Roque had no permit when he showed the questionable film to his class.
Prof. Roque averred that the film showing on Friday was a part of Martial Law’s commemoration. It was vital that the film be shown because it was Martial Law’s anniversary wherein the first move of the dictator was to suppress the freedoms of the press and speech, he said.
Prof. Roque clarified that they are not supporting the motive of what the film wishes to convey.
After viewing the film, Prof. Roque commented: “Basura po ito, walang kakwenta-kwenta at di dapat pagaksayahan ng panahon “. (It’s trash and worthless, don’t waste time on it).
OIC of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Gov. Mujiv Hataman viewed the film as divisive. He said the film obviously want to divide people.
"Bakit natin pagaaksayahan ng panahon ang isang bagay na makakapaghati sa ating lahat? Hindi makakatulong sa pagkakaisa at pagrerespetuhan sa isa’t-isa?” (Why waste time on a thing that will divide us? It will not help us cement our oneness and respect for one another), Hataman said.