Online literary journal dissolves over sexual harassment allegations
MANILA, Philippines – Online literary journal High Chair has "dissolved immediately" over allegations of sexual harassment some of its members are facing. Some writers posted on Twitter about the dissolution Monday, October 28.
In a statement on the online journal's homepage, 9 High Chair members wrote, "We strongly condemn, in no uncertain terms, all forms of sexual harassment."
Filipino poets Mabi David, Alex Gregorio, Kristine Domingo, Joseph Saguid, Mark Anthony Cayanan, Faye Cura, Harris Guevarra, Conchitina Cruz, and Adam David, who signed the statement, said the allegations had "divided and demoralized the group that it is no longer possible to continue working together."
"There should be no poetry as usual and convenient moving on when there are important matters to reckon with," they wrote. "Thank you very much for supporting our small poetry press and its objectives throughout 18 years."
This is not the first time news of sexual harassment rocked the Filipino literary community.
In August, a keynote speaker and panelist of the Iligan National Writers Workshop was accused of sexual assault by a female writing fellow, who took to Facebook to recount the incident that brought her "nothing but anguish and heartache."
Following the Facebook post, over 300 people urged the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) to investigate the alleged sexual assault.
The accused speaker "vehemently" denied the allegation shortly after in a Facebook post of his own.
The workshop director, Christine Godinez Ortega, said the Mindanao State Universit-Iligan Institute of Technology, where the workshop happened, conducted its own probe into the matter. It remains unclear what came out of the said investigation. – Rappler.com