Noynoy Aquino can stop Nora Aunor from becoming National Artist

nora aunor national artist
Credits: Nora Aunor for National Artist Facebook page

According to the guidelines set by the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts (NCCA), President Benigno Aquino III should be able to confer the Order of National Artist recognition to chosen individuals preferably by June 11 (June 12 is set aside for the Independence Day festivities and the traditional Vin d’Honneur).

The event is held every three years. The country last had a set of National Artists five years ago, which means that a new set of award recipients should have been named in 2012.

However, because the Supreme Court at that time hasn’t ruled yet about the controversy that surrounded the awards process in 2009, the Aquino administration decided not to move forward with the nominations for the mean time.

It can be remembered that certain quarters urged Aquino to use his presidential prerogative to declare Comedy King Dolphy Quizon a National Artist shortly before he died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at 83 back in July 2012. The Palace did not budge. Curiously, the late comedian received the Order of the Golden Heart recognition two years prior.

nora aunor national artist
Credits: Nora Aunor for National Artist Facebook page

Let’s turn our attention to Ms Nora Aunor, the so-called “superstar” of Philippine Cinema. For many months now, it’s been speculated that Aunor will be included in the list National Artist awardees for 2014.

GMA News reported last April that NCCA had confirmed that Aunor is indeed in the final list of National Artist nominees they recommended to the Office of the President. In fact, this reached Malacanang as early as September 2013.

So, what is the reason for the delay? In his column titled “Whatever happened to the new national artists?” multi-awarded writer Butch Dalisay, a member of the National Artist awards selection committee, mentioned the rumors that the delay may be intentional on the part of the Palace.

He wrote: “A bit of speculation has it that the Palace was betting on the late Dolphy, rather than Nora Aunor, to make it through the (national artist award) selection process, and that if Dolphy’s not getting it, then neither will Nora.”

nora aunor brillante mendoza thy womb
Best Actress winner Nora Aunor and Best Director awardee Brillante Mendoza (first from right). / Photo credits: Don Zandro

Is it possible for Aquino to remove Nora from the list of awardees?

When the Supreme Court decided on the National Artist awards controversy last year, it divided the issue into two:

1) Did President Gloria Arroyo commit grave abuse of discretion in adding the names of Carlo J. Caparas, Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, Francisco Manosa, and Jose “Pitoy” Moreno in the list of National Artist awardees for 2009?

2) Did Arroyo commit grave abuse of discretion in removing Ramon Santos, a world-renown composer and conductor, from the list of national artists for that year?

In the case formally titled Almario et. al. vs. Executive Secretary et. al. (G.R. 189028), the High Court invalidated the conferment of national artist awards for Caparas, Guidote-Alvarez, Manosa, and Moreno “without prejudice to the possibility of them being considered for the honor of National Artist in the future.”

However, one aspect of the said decision that hasn’t really been discussed much is that it also affirmed Arroyo’s right to remove Santos from the list. According to the SC, sitting presidents can “alter, modify, nullify, or set aside such recommendation or advice (from the NCCA).”

The Court further expounded: “It was well within the President’s power and discretion to proclaim all, or some or even none of the recommendees of the CCP and the NCCA Boards, without having to justify his or her action.”

Red the full text of SC’s decision on G.R. 189028 in this link.

In other words, while the Supreme Court reined in a president’s power to arbitrarily add names in the list submitted by NCCA for consideration as National Artists, it affirmed the President’s prerogative to exclude anyone from that list.

Nora Aunor may be included in NCCA’s final list of National Artist recommendees, but if President Aquino doesn’t want to confer her that recognition, he can remove her from that list because he can legally do so.

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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/.

11 Comments on Noynoy Aquino can stop Nora Aunor from becoming National Artist

  1. I believe P-noy will implement tuwid na daan.. Sana kung ganon ang gusto nia bago nag select/pumili ang authorized representative in the Government, dapat inalis na siya sa listahan endorsed by NCCA and CCP.

  2. si Pinoy pa din ang may last say kung aalisin si Nora in favor of Dolphy.Deserving naman c Dolphy pero the fact na dumaan si Nora sa proseso karapat dapat nmn tlga ang Superstar.Pareho sila nagkaroon ng tatak sa kultura ng mga Pilipino pero sa tingin ko mas lamang c Nora.Kung pagbabatayan ang mga likhang sining na kanyang naiambag sa kasaysayan ng Pelikulang Pilipino at sa sa pamumuhay ng mga Pilipino.Pinag aaralan ang kanyang galing at husay sa pag arte at sa mga magagandang pelikula na kanyang nailabas.

  3. Mr. President, Ms. Aunor gave so much honor in the Philippine cinema, specially international sector. Who in the Philippine entertainment was recognized and awarded as much as Ms. Aunor, no one. Political events in the past should not be involved as well as her personal mistakes. And who doesn’t have mistakes/immoral things in the past? I should hope we all know who’s who? Let’s just be honest and let the things in the past in the past. God bless us all.

  4. The space in this blog might have been better used to ask the more pressing question: WHO DESERVES THE AWARD? And who might be better suited to make that decision? The artists themselves, and not the politicians in some stinky palace. And by gawd, the artists have spoken. Just confer the title to NORA AUNOR already!. There is no other person in Philippine entertainment, living or dead, more deserving of the title. And no amount of political or legal jargon can change that.

  5. Arts should not be mixed with politics. We have experts in the field of arts be it music, cinema, literature and so on. Nora had undergone an extensive scrutiny from these so called experts and she passed this high standard set by NCCA and CCP.

    Nora’s contribution to her arts is unquestionable. She may not be perfect in her personal life but who is perfect anyway.

    There are many corrupt politicians and govt officials out there who continue to serve for so many years and yet they remained on their seats and untouched. Why? It’s because of a corrupt system.

    Pnoy should promote the upliftment of our culture and the arts. And he should continue to promote unity among filipinos and not division.

    Respect the decision of NCCA and CCP. They are doing a great job in maintaining high standard and excellence in arts.

    Ms. Nora Aunor is well deserving of the title.

  6. mr. president, di ka ba nagsasawa sa pagiging obnoxious, elitist conyo , crab mentality, inutil, na binggador? magpakatao ka naman… sige, ikaw rin. isang gulong lang ang buhay ng tao sa mundo. sana ma flatten po ang gulong ninyo.

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