Artist group slams Inquirer over ‘Pugad Baboy’ suspension

A national organization of Filipino artists, writers, and cultural workers bemoaned the resignation of veteran cartoonist Apolonio “Pol” Medina from the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) over the controversy caused by the publication of his ‘Pugad Baboy’ comic strip last June 4 that mocks the alleged hypocrisy of Catholic schools in dealing with homosexuals.

In a statement released over the weekend, the Concerned Artist of the Philippines (CAP) said Medina’s decision to quit was “unfortunate,” adding that PDI’s move to suspend ‘Pugad Baboy’ indefinitely constitutes a threat to freedom of expression.

“This can set a dangerous precedent for other publications and media institutions under similar situations,” CAP spokesperson Renan Ortiz said. He pointed out that the newspaper seems to have set aside its long legacy of asserting the freedom of speech and expression.

Speaking to ABS-CBN News last Friday, Medina said he is apologizing to the Saint Scholastica’s College (SSC) for his offensive comic strip. On the same day, he made a resignation letter addressed to PDI Editor-in-Chief. “Sorry (that) I dishonoured you. I resign,” Medina said in the letter. PDI has carried ‘Pugad Baboy’ since 1988.

pol medina resigns
Pol Medina’s resignation letter (Credits: ABS-CBN News Channel Facebook page)

For his part, National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera said the management of PDI should have spoken in favor of Medina instead of “panicking and disowning him.”

“Medina’s strip was directed in general at what he calls the hypocrisy of Catholic institutions that condemn homosexuality and discriminate against lesbians and gays,” Lumbera noted, explaining that although SSC was mentioned, it is not the strip’s only subject. Lumbera is the Chair of CAP’s Board of Directors.

A character from Medina’s comic strip quipped that administrators of all-girls schools, SSC in particular, are condoning homosexuals in their respective campuses, hinting that the nuns may be lesbians themselves. In response, the administration of SSC warned that they may take legal action against Medina and the PDI if they don’t hear from them.

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About Mark Madrona 1191 Articles
Mark Madrona is a prize-winning blogger, online journalist, and educator from the Philippines. Previously a book editor, he is now teaching communication subjects for two public universities in Manila. His blog The Filipino Scribe won 3rd place in a blog competition organized by the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP). In 2015, it was one of the finalists in the 2015 Lasallian Scholarum Awards for Best Online Feature Article in Youth and Education. He also won the Best Blog Award during the 2011 Population and Development Media Awards, the youngest recipient of that recognition. Know more about him here: http://www.filipinoscribe.com/about/.

1 Comment on Artist group slams Inquirer over ‘Pugad Baboy’ suspension

  1. well said! it seems SSC doesn’t have English subjects in their courses. did anybody ever teach or explain the meaning of SATIRE?

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