President Aquino was misinformed about Nora Aunor’s drug case

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

In response to attacks from various corners about his decision to drop superstar Nora Aunor from the country’s latest batch of National Artists, President Benigno Aquino III explained Tuesday that he took into consideration the actress’ supposed history of drug use.

“Na-convict po siya sa drugs. Na-convict at naparusahan at ang tanong ngayon dito, pag ginawa ba nating National Artist, may mensahe ba akong maliwanag na sinasabi sa sambayanan?” Aquino explained.

Aquino’s claim was swiftly debunked by lawyer Claire Navarro Espina, the one who represented Aunor in her case which lasted from 2005 to 2007. ”

Nora Aunor was never convicted of a crime, let alone a crime involving drugs here in Los Angeles,” she said through Facebook. “Apparently, there is misinformation over there in the Philippines on this issue,” she added.

“I entered Nora in a diversion program. She was not jailed. She did not undergo drug rehabilitation. She did not go into drug detoxification,” the lawyer further told Bernie Franco of Philippine Entertainment Portal.

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

The Filipino Scribe did a quick research of past articles re Aunor’s case to construct a timeline about what went before:

March 2005 – Aunor was arrested in the Los Angeles International Airport after 7.7 grams of methamphetamine (“shabu”) was found on her baggage.

She was on her way back to her San Francisco Bay area home after a business trip to Los Angeles,” the Philippine Star reported at that time.

December 2005 – Aunor’s lawyers entered her in a “court-supervised drug treatment program involves counseling, education and, other therapeutic interventions. This course is designed specifically for non-violent first-time drug offenders, providing them a means to avoid imprisonment.

March 2006 – Aunor pleaded guilty to charges of drug possession. However, as Agence France Presse reported, this is more of a legal maneuver than an admission of any wrongdoing.

The arrangement allowed Aunor to continue with her detox program for another 18 months. After that, her legal team can ask the drug possession case to be dismissed altogether.

October 2007 – A Los Angeles Court dismissed Aunor’s case. More importantly, this decision paved the way for Aunor’s criminal record to be cleared.

***************************

Obviously, President Aquino got his facts about Aunor’s drug case wrong.  Did anyone from his communications team research on this first so that the commander-in-chief won’t end up embarrassing himself in public?

And, to raise another point: Aquino should have kept in mind that the national artist awards is about recognizing outstanding artists (duh), not SAINTS.

Engaging in certain non-violent vices like consuming alcohol and even smoking marijuana should not affect the assessment of an artists’ contributions to the nation.

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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/.

56 Comments on President Aquino was misinformed about Nora Aunor’s drug case

  1. All are mere legalities… the fact that she was caught, undergone rehab and pleaded guilty later on, only proves that she is a drug addict…

    • No she’s not…and no it’s not…know your facts or consult a lawyer to explain it to you if you don’t understand but don’t readily jump to conclusions on what you understand it to be…that is exactly what Aquino did and his followers and all non-Noranians since the case started…and your and their judgment stuck on even if very far from the truth…go take time and have it explained by a lawyer, a good and decent one…and you will eat your words…God will take care of you all when the final judgement comes…

      • Just to make my points straight, Pnoy was misinformed with the conviction because Nora Aunor was never convicted. But she did enter a guilty plea in an LA court but she escaped jail because she agreed to enter into a drug rehab program (source: http://business.inquirer.net/money/topstories/view/20060404-810/Nora_Aunor_pleads_guilty_to_drug_possession_in_US, http://www.philstar.com/headlines/313557/nora-aunor-ordered-undergo-detox-us-clinic)

        After successfully undergoing rehab, the case was dismissed. (http://www.pep.ph/news/14981/nora-aunor39s-drug-case-dismissed-by-los-angeles-court)

        Now, I believe you will have difficulty understanding these processes because we have a different legal system from the USA. But that Nora Aunor was a drug user is a FACT and if she were caught here in the country, she would have been meted out with a harsher punishment.

        Another FACT that you have to sink in your mind is that the National Artist Award is a government-sanctioned award and of course it’s the government’s policy to eradicate drugs. So, I believe that delisting Nora Aunor from National Artist list is justifiable.

        I have nothing against Nora Aunor and I believe in human frailty and that at many points in life we can be addicted to something it may not be something tangible like drugs, but we do have weaknesses. I acknowledge that in myself.

      • It would be at the height of hypocrisy if the government allows a drug addict to get the highest government-sanctioned award in the country just because she ‘s popular while jailing those obscure drug users.

        It should be the policy of the National Artist governing body to withhold the award to erring candidates and to strip the distinction on those who have erred after earning the award.

        This is nothing personal against drug addicts or any perpetrators of crime. THis is all about what EXAMPLE are we going to show to the younger generation.

      • and so goes the truth of the bible in hastily judging others, lest ye be judge and ye shall be found lacking… a week passed and PNOY and the forever smearing DAP issue came to light… even if assuming Nora used drugs, she was harmless to society and most of all she did not steal her money to buy it…assuming she is still using which i doubt…she was tested here in the US several times in a decent hospital and cleared…

    • cs luis ,, if your balls are just a pea size of you cholesterol covered crab brain better you read further and learn something from google. you spreading copy paste misinformation from net. nora aunor did and was never went to rehab or detoxification in any form. she went more than 40 random drug testing and found no any substance found in her system. okay read read read further iho! do you homework!!

  2. cs luis…did you read also the criteria of the NCCA and CCP…did you read also philippine history regarding thee life of our very own juan luna…who killed his wife and mother in law…what about fpj whose daughter is around the corner of your eyes…what about jose rizal…who is a womanizer…pls read it also ..it’s not justifiable but it’s an ill politically motivated…

  3. Nora Aunor is indeed a talented Actress. Her personal issue’s about Drugs has nothing to do with Her nomination as National Artist, but still Her image on Drug Issue’s will not set a good example.

    Lumanlan, Aldrin Gabrielle P.
    Holy Angel University
    RIZAL F-332 CBA

  4. We all know how great actress Nora Aunor is, how talented she is. Just from the awards given to her, it’s already obvious on how great she is on acting. But the fact that she was accused in a drug case made some bad impression on some Filipinos. Because we all know that the Philippine Government are the one who give the National Awards for artists and such, and they are also liable on the drug case that was accused to her. So, I guess, it’s somewhat right if they’ll not award Nora Aunor the National Artist for the accusation she got. Since, we know that the Philippine Government and us Filipinos also wants our National Artists to have a clean or good reputation.

    Bondoc, Almira Carla P.
    Holy Angel University
    RIZAL
    F-332

    • we are looking for national artist not a saint ateh! please read the national artist criteria. this in not a role model award!

  5. Let us not look against the fact that Nora Aunor is involve in some drug issues, but look at the fact that she contributed a lot in our movie industry. She is a great actress and I think she deserved to be a National Artist. Even the fact that were mention above.

    Cardoso, Krizza Mae D.
    Holy Angel University
    Rizal F-332 CBA

  6. We should still respect and honor Nora Aunor for what she did in the field of arts. Nora Aunor did a lot of things inside and outside our country that each Filipino should be proud of. Never ever forget a person for what he/she did just because he/she was accused of something. Let us all remember that a mistake or a flaw doesn’t define our whole personality. So why would we neglect the fact that Nora Aunor should be part of the National Artists? The government should be considerate and have a broad thinking about this issue. Government!!! You should look at the whole thing and not only with a particular spot. Be mature enough with this issue. What is the sense of being appointed as a leader if you don’t know how to think wisely.

    Manahan, Kim Nikko D.G.
    Holy Angel University
    Rizal
    F-332 CBA

  7. We all know that Nora Aunor is a good actress, a recording artist and a film producer. She is know as the Philippine Cinema’s Superstar and was recognized as one of the outstanding women in the Nation’s Service. But despite of all the awards she got i think that she does not deserve to be the National Artist because is accused guilty of drug possession. And the Philippine Government will not tolerate bad issues like this that will give a negative feedback to us Filipinos.

    Mendoza, Chesley Mae C.
    Holy Angel University
    Rizal
    F332
    CBA

  8. A Great actress=national artist, national artist=saint? Maybe Nora Aunor was accused or involved in some drug issues, but the government should give her a little more consideration. A consideration for nomination or even for recognition.

    Cuenco, Justine Kay M.
    Holy Angel University
    Rizal
    F-332
    CBA

  9. Our President said that, “Nora Aunor not deserving of National Artist Award due to drug conviction.”
    Yes I know, President Aquino has a point for that because of the drug issue. A national artist should be a good influence for everyone, right? But still, we all know how talented and a great actress Nora Aunor is.
    If she is considered to be given a national artist award way before she was accused, then therefore she deserves it. Nora Aunor’s lawyer which is Claire Navarro-Espina, said that the actress was never convicted of drug crime in the US. So, it’s not yet proven. We must still be proud of her, because she did many good things to our country and also to other country. Give the National Artist Award to Nora Aunor.

    Valiente, Dianne S.
    Holy Angel University
    Rizal
    F-332
    CBA

  10. Indeed Nora Aunor was a great actress and singer during her time. Her greatness in this field made her one of the best artists in our country. But to be a National Artist, I think PNoy was right to not only look at her artistry but also her whole being. A National Artist would be someone we would look up to, a role model. Being guilty of drug possesion would not be considered as a good thing here in our country. Yes, she wasn’t convicted, but in the first place, why would she posses drugs?
    A National Artist would reflect the nation he would represent, so to approve of a National Artist who has history with drugs or with any wrongdoing isn’t at all a good idea. I think PNoy made the right decision.

    Lozano, Kate Anne T.
    Holy Angel University
    Rizal F332 CBA

    • excuse! if someone caught in drug possession are you saying that person is drug addict already? such a pea size mentality…again we are looking for national artist not a role model and you better get the national artist criteria for your better understanding. you confuse people’s notion between national artist and role model.

  11. “Nora Aunor, not deserving of National Artist Award due to drug conviction”
    True or not, on my own opinion, I think Morality must also be a criteria to be hailed as a National Artist. One must protect his/her credibility and one’s self image. Even though she was great artist during her time, that doesn’t mean she must be awarded as National Artist, yes she was in the past, and ever will be, however she should be a role model for us Youth.

    I know she’s not perfect, nobody is, but Nora should be aware and careful for she is a public figure, the Filipino follows her every move.

    Corpuz, Aileen A.
    Holy Angel University
    Rizal F332 CBA

  12. for the haters and bashers of nora…I hope the explanation from the US court and the lawyer who represented her….had spoken and cleard her name…in her word “alleged” and the group was the one who prepared the items..nobody saw her using drugs…she never go for rehabilitation as what the president had said..nora aunor never convicted for the crime….that were all false alam..misinformation…how pathetic…

  13. Nora aunor’s are very good actress in her time, she deserve being one of the national artist, but she is drug addict I know that nomination for the national artist of the philippines drug addict is not indicated in critea but do you think nora aunor’s influenced other for being national artist in the philippines for being drug addict no so I agree also what is the outcome or what is the decision of the nomination for national artist..
    and I also agree with matet de leon she said nung sumabak ang nanay ko sa ibang bansa hindi lang ang kanyang sarili ang pinanalo niya at kasama ang pilipinas na kanyang pagkapanalo.. “NATIONAL ARTIST IS BASED ON YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO THE RELATED industry”.

    SUAREZ, RUBEN III S.
    HOLY ANGEL UNIVERSITY
    RIZAL BM334

  14. Nora Aunor have the right to become National Artist because she is a good actress.I know that choosing or making nomination of national artist of the philippines drug addicted is not indicated. “NO BODY IS PERFECT” but Nora Aunor didn’t breaking down.She fight and making good again for our country. i hope Pnoy realize and they will give it to nora aunor.

    DUERO, ERICK C.
    HOLY ANGEL UNIVERSITY
    RIZAL /F-332/CBA

  15. Nora Aunor is indeed a great artist in her time and she deserves to awarded as a National Artist in our country. Since the case was already dismissed by the Los Angeles Court, her criminal record has been cleared. So I don’t see that to be the problem for PNoy to drop Nora Aunor in the list of the latest batch of National Artists.
    CURA, PATRICIA MAE L.
    HOLY ANGEL UNIVERSITY
    RIZAL / BM-334

  16. We all know that Nora Aunor is really a great artist and she really deserve to be awarded or at least be nominated as a National Artist in the Philippines. She loved her work, she did her acting passionately and i think those are the reason why she should be awarded as a National Artist. Her issue regarding the drug case or addiction must’n be the reason why she removed her in the nomination because she didn’t harmed anyone nor the issue is not true. The President should have considered these stuffs before deciding to remove her in the said nomination, he should consider her contributions in nation too.

    ARCEO, PATRIZHA MARI M.
    HOLY ANGEL UNIVERSITY
    RIZAL
    F-332, CBA

  17. Well President Pnoy has a point somehow. Although Nora Aunor is a great artist and well known known during his time in showbiz and until now, there are criterias or categories the our president considered in making her as the National Artist. And this include her criminal records.

    MONTEMAYOR, KATE D.
    HOLY ANGEL UNIVERSITY
    RIZAL
    BM-334

    • what criminals records are you talking about…did she kill somebody…would you mind to read the latest news…about what your president are saying…tsismoso kasi and he was misinformed by his so called tuta…

  18. For me. Yes the fact that Mrs. Nora is inloved in drugs but that’s not the perfect reason to not recognize her as our national artist she derseved that award and everyone expecting that Mrs. Nora will get that award. But in the other side Mrs. Nora has a fault also because we all know that using drugs is a crime in the philippines not only in the philippines even though in other courty. President Aquino only do his job so that’s way he decided not to recognize her as our national artist.

    PANLILIO, MONICA C.
    HOLY ANGEL UNIVERSITY
    RIZAL
    F-332 CBA

    • For me. Yes the fact that Mrs. Nora is inloved in drugs but that’s not the perfect reason to not recognize her as our national artist she derseved that award and everyone expecting that Mrs. Nora will get that award. But in the other side Mrs. Nora has a fault also because we all know that using drugs is a crime in the philippines not only in the philippines even though in other courty. President Aquino only do his job so that’s why he decided not to recognize her as our national artist.

      PANLILIO, MONICA C.
      HOLY ANGEL UNIVERSITY
      RIZAL
      F-332 CBA

      • sng tatalino nyo pero ang kikitid ng utak nyo !! nag sisipag englisan kayo pag may drug possion ba addict kaagad di nyo nga alma kung ano ang totoong nagnyare mga mapanghusga kayo.. ang lilinis nyo at ang babanal nyo!

  19. Monica Panllio, President Aquino doing his job? Really? He said that Nora was convicted of drugs, which was a lie. So is how PNoy did his job to misled the public? You gotta be kidding.

    What about late FPJ who was awarded national artist? He has sired a child outside his marriage? So now define morality? PNoy is also smoking, and we all know that smoking is dangerous to one’s health Is he a good example because cigarettes are still legal to sell despite bad for health?

  20. I think Nora Aunor still deserves the National Artist award because she promote Philippine culture and tradition not only to the nationwide, but also worldwide. Nora Aunor is a very notable actress who has excelled in a number of classic Filipino films and these films continue to be an inspiration and an important part of what makes our art uniquely Filipino. Instead of looking at the bad side, let us focus more on the side that tackles Aunor’s contibution in the industry.

    PARE, VINA MARIE T.
    HOLY ANGEL UNIVERSITY
    RIZAL
    F-332, CBA

  21. Last 2 days, Philippine Star finally released the news that President Aquino was really wrong. The case was already dismissed and Nora Aunor was never convicted of drug possession. She really deserves the title for being the National Artist. Ugh, People should recognize such kind of artists and not to judge them immediately without knowing the truth.

    Waje, Monique
    Holy Angel University
    Rizal F-332 CBA

  22. Nora Aunor is undeniably a great actress, recording artist and film producer. She has the most Lifetime Achievement Awards received locally and internationally for her contribution in film, television and music industry. That’s why she deserves to be nominated as national artist. President Aquino must not look after the personal lives of our artists because nobody is perfect and no one has perfect life. We are looking for a national ARTIST not a national role model or a saint.

    BALATBAT, SAMANTHA M.
    RIZAL
    F-332 CBA

  23. Nora Aunor is undeniably a great actress, recording artist and film producer. She has the most Lifetime Achievement Awards received locally and internationally for her contribution in film, television and music industry. That’s why she deserves to be nominated as national artist. President Aquino must not look after the personal lives of our artists because nobody is perfect and no one has perfect life. We are looking for a national ARTIST not a national role model or a saint.

    BALATBAT, SAMANTHA M.
    HOLY ANGEL UNIVERSITY
    RIZAL
    F-332 CBA

  24. In my opinion President Aquino is at fault here and there are 2 key points here:

    1) The President was clearly misinformed and obviously, no thorough investigation was conducted to confirm the allegations against Nora Aunor. This just proves that the president’s basis for disqualifying her were based only on unconfirmed assumptions.

    2) Being a candidate or maybe, even becoming a National Artists is based on WHAT YOU HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO OUR COUNTRY IN TERMS OF “SINING”. We fail to recognize all the achievements and awards a person gets for our country and race, we instead focus on one single flaw and judge them.

    If we are going to apply this kind of approach to our national hero, would you think that Rizal would still be qualified? i think no! He’s a womanizer but the deeds he made for our country weighed more than this one fault.

    JAVIER, JALLINA ROSE F.
    HOLY ANGEL UNIVERSITY
    RIZAL
    F- 332 CBA

  25. I think Ms. Nora Aunor deserves to be credited for the contributions she shared in our country as an artist. Also, I think PNOY should apologize for the hurtful words he has said. Ms. Nora has won the hearts of many Filipinos with her powerful dramatic portrayals. Her humble beginnings gave her a down-to-earth image which made people love her.
    Sanchez, Christine Jannah S.
    Holy Angel University
    Rizal
    F-332
    CBA

  26. Yes she contributed a lot in our industry, She’s a good actress .According to lawyer, no drug conviction, Doesn’t mean she’s innocent of drug use. Getting busted with drugs and going to jail is not a very good example of being a national artist to others. But for me everyone makes a mistakes and bad habbit. She deserves to be a national artist. To be a saint is not a requirement to be a national artist.

    MACY S. VILLAPANA
    HOLY ANGEL UNIVERSITY
    RIZAL
    F- 332 CBA

  27. Ms. Nora Aunor has been considered a public role model to the masses since the 70’s but how can she be a true icon if she has been involved with immorality issues and a drug-user suspect? A legitimate National Artist must have the advocacy of living a life with pure character, modesty, good moral values and integrity that he/she can contribute to the next generations. The youth of today should learn to be influenced by the rightful model-icon, our National Artist.

    MERCADO, JERMAINE ABIGAIL A.
    HOLY ANGEL UNIVERSITY
    RIZAL
    F-332

    • please read the criteria from the NCCA and CCP…and please read also the history of the Philippines…example is juan luna…check also the life story of fpj….and the rest…do you believe that those national artist from the past were all clean…again national artist are not looking for a saint…but the artistry and contribution to the Philippines Industry..

      • What if I tell you that I break the record of considering our past National Artist for being icons regardless of their dark secrets, immorality and other imperfections. If I would be given the chance to be the future head of the state, I would firmly impose and emphasize the criteria of morality, credibility and integrity. Why are we going to justify and sugarcoat their flaws? If we tolerate or consider our chosen national artists’ dark pasts, what logic would it be? What would they be called, National Artists of bad influence? If we are artists by profession, couldn’t we practice an art of righteousness? I believe that nobody is perfect but it is proper to carefully analyze and weigh the kind of indecent issues of their pasts as long as it wouldn’t affect the moral values of their followers before granting the title to deserving National Artist. Regardless of their exceptional talent as artists, I still insist to be particular on immorality issues because talent and values must always complement together to become an authenticated National Artist. I am not a basher of anyone, I just choose to be on the right side.

        • oh it’s great to hear that if you are going to break those…about being head of the state..are you blind…and how old are you now?would you open your mind….where this beloved Philppines…is going through…check the Phili ppines history who broguth those politics in the seat with a good record…tell me!!!politics is a politics and an artist is an artist you can mixed it only in the world of hypocrisy…and you are very lucky..in the whole universe because your are so clean…Amen!!!!

        • if you choose to be on right side you better read first the national artist criteria! you look stupid because confuse yourself understanding between national artist and a role model.

          • and ms Jermaine …you said that it’s your opinion and a part of your project if I were your profession…i’ll give you a record of 4…d n lang 5 kasi nag effort ka naman to provide your shallow and stupid report….manang mana kayo sa president ng pipilipinas…mahilig magbintang without credible proof…….at mahilig mag cut and paste…

        • dearest people! you are all entitle to your opinion,expressing freedom of speech is a liberty but please be reminded not to be such idiotic moronic embezzle proudly posting your comment and opinion as if you know the criteria of being a national artist. google first the national artist criteria and will know that there is nor such thing as morality clause stated there. we are looking for national artist not a saint nor a role model. dont confuse the word “national artist” and “role model’ these two have two different meaning…

  28. Hi there! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog. Is it very difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Many thanks|

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