Neil Gaiman reacts to children’s publisher Adarna’s red labeling

Neil Gaiman in this photo uploaded to his official Facebook page on March 25, 2022. (Facebook/Neil Gaiman)

Acclaimed English fantasy writer Neil Gaiman reacted after a children’s publishing house was accused of allegedly “radicalising” young people with its books on Martial law.

This was after the general manager Alex Paul Monteagudo of National Intelligence Coordination Agency baselessly asserted that House of AdarnaThe ‘#NeverAgain’ book bundle was part of a communist plot to ‘radicalize’ children.

He shared a photo of the batch of books on Facebook with the caption:

“This is how the CPP/NPA/NDF radicalizes not only our young people, but also our children. Adarna Publishing House released these books and they are now on sale to subtly radicalize Filipino children against our government, now!

Spokesperson Lorraine Badoy of the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) commented on his post:

“Adarna’s target audience ranges from toddlers to elementary school children. This beginning, they sow hatred and lies in the tender hearts of our children. Mga demonyo talaga.”

She told another Facebook user that the publisher was not “CCP” or the Communist Party of the Philippines but was supposedly infiltrated.

“Na pasok lang. Marami silang of beautiful books”, Badoy wrote.

Adarna announced on Wednesday that its titles on or featuring subjects related to the Martial Law years are on sale and can be pre-ordered as part of the “#NeverAgain” bundle.

It happened after former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was seen leading the partial and unofficial counts for the 2022 presidential elections.

He is the son and namesake of Ferdinand Marcos Sr. responsible for implementing a nine-year martial law in the country which has seen various human rights violations and abuses.

Amnesty International estimates that around 70,000 were imprisoned, 34,000 people were tortured and over 3,200 were killed.

Critics used the phrase “#NeverAgain” to remember the period and use it to protest and prevent the abuse from happening again.

Meanwhile, books in the Adarna lot, children’s stories from that time and a Filipino translation of a book published in Spain in 1977.

“Ito ang Diktadura” illustrates the characteristics of dictators and presents a gallery of them which includes Marcos Sr.

Other books are “Si Jhun Jhun, Noong Bago Ideklara Ang Batas Militar”, “Edsa”, “The Magic Arrow” and “Isang Harding Papel”.

RELATED: Children’s publisher Adarna offers discount on ‘#NeverAgain’ book bundle

The headlines are not explicitly communist or anti-government, but officials often equate the two with terrorism.

Rights Group Karapatan stated that Adarna’s books “are produced by renowned and multi-award winning Filipino children’s book authors and illustrators”.

It is a family publishing house founded by National Artist Virgil Almario.

His vision, according to his websiteis to shape a “Filipino child who loves and values ​​their history, culture and country”.

Its mission, on the other hand, is to create products and services “used at home and in school to promote a love of country, language and learning”.

“Adarna House is a conversation that began in 1980, when it was founded to meet the need of Filipino children to expand their minds through enjoyable learning opportunities and memorable literary experiences,” said part of her “About us” section.

“Today, that conversation includes a host of valued partners who share our enthusiasm for children, our commitment to education, and our passion for reading,” the post adds.

Adarna did not comment on the red tagging issue, but it only did encouraged Filipinos to pre-order the “#NeverAgain” book bundle.

The incident, however, caught the attention of Gaiman who read a news report on the red-tagged post.

“Not good,” he commented on Friday.

Her tweet has gained 10,000 likes, over 3,340 retweets and over 530 quote tweets so far with some Filipinos leaving comments on her post.

“Thank you for amplifying our voice. Please help us and our story editors continue to hold the line,” said one twitter user mentioned.

“Thank you sir. I grew up reading Adarna books. I just bought my son these books which the government is targeting because I want him to learn history and literature. Your support means a lot to literature teachers and parents like me,” another online user wrote.

“Thank you for sharing! As a Filipino children’s author living in the Philippines, I find this very alarming. Not to mention that my family members were persecuted during martial law,” the children’s book author said. Tanya Guerrero. mentioned.

A historian has previously said that “contingency plans” were being drawn up in terms of sources and references involving the period of martial law.