Apolonio “Pol” Medina, the creator of the long-running comic strip “Pugad Baboy,” has apologized to the St. Scholastica’s College (SSC) community. His mea culpa comes amidst the furor caused by the publication of his comic strip last June 4 that allegedly mocks Christians for their supposed hypocritical stance over homosexuality.
In an interview with ABS-CBN’s Bandila, the satirist acknowledged that he erred in making the controversial strips. “Nandun yung word na ‘condone’ eh. Kino-condone nila… hindi nila kiko-condone ang lesbianism eh. Hindi lang nila ma-police. Hindi nila mapigilan. Kasi andaming estudyante eh (I used the word ‘condone.’ They (administrators of all-girls schools) do not condone lesbianism. They just can’t police it.),” Medina told ABS-CBN News.
Tiny, one character in the June 4 comic strip quipped that administrators of all-girls schools condone lesbians in their campus. For her part, Meimei, another character in the comic strip, speculated that those nuns who run these schools might be lesbians themselves.
Medina also expressed contrition for referring to students of St. Scholastica as “kulasa,” acknowledging that the word has a derogatory meaning and that his usage of it is “foul.” And in contrast to his initial defiant stance, Medina now admits that everything is his fault.
“Nananahimik sila eh. Yung estudyanteng nananahimik nang ganyan, i-poke mo nang ganon, ikaw may kasalanan diba? (They are not doing anything to me. When you poke students in that manner, it is your fault.)” Medina said. The Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) has suspended his comic strip indefinitely beginning today. Medina’s works has appeared on the said paper since 1988.
The said comic strip triggered a swift response from the administrators of SSC. “We protest in the strongest possible terms the way the school was singled out and our Sister-administrators accused of allowing homosexual relationships between its female students,” they said in a widely-circulated statement.
The school also warned that they may file charges if they fail to the PDI fails to address the issue before the week ends. It also suggested that a dialogue between the newspaper and the school’s administrators, faculty, and students be held to discuss the matter further.
One of the likely legal remedies for SSC administrators is to sue Medina for libel. According to Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code, libel is the “public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical person.” The school as an education institution can be considered as a juridical person.
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