Saturday, August 22, 2009

PETA's official statement on the National Artist Awards controversy

One should have been far too many, yet President Arroyo has abused her power--again. This time it threatens to divide the artist community.

* * *

We join our fellow artists in the condemnation of President Arroyo’s abuse of her so-called prerogatives and her utter disrespect for a selection process that has served the awards program well. During the term of President Aquino, that prerogative was already in place, but in contrast to President Arroyo, Cory had the grace and wisdom to entrust the selection to the legally appointed bodies. President Arroyo’s elimination of one legitimate nominee, and her insertion of four persons without the benefit of the rigor of standards, and scrutiny that the awards deserve have debased the National Artists Award.

We question the prudence of those who nominated Cecile Guidote-Alvarez to President Arroyo, those who decided to bypass the rules of the selection process. They knew full-well that any member of the two selection bodies, NCCA and CCP, cannot be nominated for this honor. Cecile Guidote-Alvarez is the Executive Director of the NCCA and yet they still pushed for her inclusion in the roster. Finally, President Arroyo, sanctioned this violation when she offered to elevate Cecile Guidote-Alvarez to the status of National Artist.

We have the highest respect for Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, and even to this very day, decades after she has left PETA, we still owe her a tremendous debt of gratitude as our founder and original guiding spirit.

It is precisely because of our respect, admiration and affection for her that we request her to decline the award at this time as it is sadly tainted. We believe that the award will be much more meaningful for her if it is granted the benefit of the rigorous scrutiny, and endorsement of her peers.

Her vision and blueprint for a national theater was a masterplan which helped change the direction of Philippine theater in the 60’s. Her work, especially in the first five years with PETA, created a spirit that until now animates parallel cultural movements and initiatives. Her legacy has been greatly expanded and enriched by wave after wave of PETA members but her original vision and mission remain: theater can be a force to educate, to mirror and forge our cultural identity, and to break the culture of silence. It is in the same spirit that we have chosen to speak now and in this manner. This is especially important at a time when the nation is suffering from so much loss of public trust, in government, and in ourselves as a people.

As PETA members, we are encouraged to express our opinions as individuals. On this issue however, we have deliberated as a body to formulate this statement. The issue of the National Artists Award is a national issue. It affects us as individual artists because the award symbolizes the best in us. It affects the whole country because these artists, once given this honor are transformed into examples, beacons, and icons for our country. It defines all Filipino artists and all Filipinos. To surrender the power to one person to declare--who among us should be considered exemplary is not acceptable. That is not the President’s prerogative!

The culture of insensitivity and disrespect for due process, spawned by eight years of absence of transparency and accountability of the Arroyo administration has finally reached our gates. Art is the last of the few independent refuges of freedom, and when this refuge is breached, all freedom is utterly lost.

We join the arts and culture community in condemning this administration's abuse of power that threatens the freedom of the arts. We artists, performing the sacred role of committed citizens, will be standing as one to defend this refuge--vigilant and courageous in the pursuit of genuine democracy.

BRAVO. It's been worth the wait.


proletartist said...

Bravo, indeed.

r-yo said...

wow! pag di pa rin natinag si Alvarez dito, pakapalan na talaga ang labanan. alam nating naiipit din sya ngayon - ang pagtanggi ay magiging sampal sa kanyang amo, pero mas pipiliin ba nyang itakwil sya ng mga kapwa nyang alagad ng sining?

200078360 said...

nobody nominated guidote alvarez... she inserted her name.. this according to someone who seated in the level 2 selection by the visual arts committee.

Anonymous said...

I bet Peta looks at this entire thing as a chance to dislodge their group from cecile guidote. Aminin man nang PETA or hindi, naging trapo na ang founder nila. Grudging cla to admit na benefactor sila ni cecile. Ngayon? Perfect time to say byebye cecile. Sana hayaan na Lang by PETA na iba kumatay kay cecile , d na Lang sila.

Anonymous said...

nobody nominated guidote alvarez... she inserted her name.. this according to someone who seated in the level 2 selection by the visual arts committee. --> well in the philippines, madami naman na nagsasabi director sila pero hindi naman, na they can act, pero hindi naman,,,,,,i am not surprised anymore kasi wala namang nagchachallenge na reliable body

Annamanila said...

I felt too that Cecile Guidote Alvarez deserved recognition for her life work for theater advocacy. (I recall the Sta. Cita series she doggedly produced in 1970s television). So, para sa akin pwede na -- except for the delicadeza issue. (How someone with her sensibilities would accept a dubious or tainted award is beyond me.) Still some people more knowledgeable think she should have been awarded a Presidential recognition or equivalent rather than a National Artist award.

Yun namang kay Carlo Caparas -- ah, that's another story. Really outrageous!

Anonymous said...

for annamanila.... PUEDE NA EXCEPT FOR THE DELICADEZA ISSUE? --> ano ba yan!!!

Ilocanong Mahadera said...

PETA- for all of its claims to fair go, - still pays respect to their "founder and original founding spirit" on the one hand;and on the other,ask her to decline the award, short of telling her she doesn't deserve it. Isn't this double-edged hypocrisy of the highest order?Why allow the organization to be drawn into the maelstrom of Gloria-bashing instead of separating your founder from her present, if perchance, master? Maliwanag na si Gloria ang pinupuntirya ninyo, bakit ang dakila ninyong Ina ang inyong ipinambabato? At sino ba kayo? Who are you to "question the prudence of those who nominated" your founder, whom we gather, are the likes of Father Reuter,Nat'l Artist Roces, Senator Angara, and other sectoral representatives? Ang tataas naman ng ihi ninyo! Naku, maghunos-dili kayo mga katoto.Sino ba kayo kung wala ang inyong Ina? Hindi ba kayo natutuwa na ang inyong Ina mismo ang pinararangalan, at samakatuwid, pati na kayo pumapaimbulog sa ibayong katayugan? Wala kayong utang na loob!BUHAY pang Nanay ninyong pinagpugayan ninyo nung siya'y nagkasakit ng kanser. At ngayong sa milagro ng Panginoon ay umaalagwa pa rin siya, ay kayo mismo ang sasaksak ng patalikod kundiman harap-harapan sa sarili ninyng dugo? Sino ngayon ang kapalmoks? Sino sa inyo ang walang delicadeza, kayong mga putot lang niya o ang walang patumanga ninyong inaakusahang Ina? Naman...naman.Nasan ang inyong konsyensya?

Anonymous said...

For Ilocanong Mahadera, i do agree that PETA should simply go beyond the rara issue. i do believe that PETA should at least with DELICADEZA, na idistance ang sarili nila sa issue on Cecil Alvarez. i think they are too personally involved and biased na sila....too much biased on being anti alvarez.... i myself do not agree na national artist si cecil. pero for PETA to actually harp on it too much, smacks of POLITICS. the very thing they claim they detest.... i mean nandidiri sila siguro na one of their founders has questionable integrity in relation with various issues on the environment and poverty (e.g. hello again selective log ban!!!!). pero to the extent na talagang kinakagat nila na ang founder nila, parang sobra na. PETA, hayaan na ninyong iba na ang kumatay sa founder ninyo, i think madami na ang nagra rara against her, WAG NA KAYONG SUMAWSAW...BESIDES, hindi ba naging useful din naman siya sa inyo noong naging NCCA head siya? so puede ba, stop it na.

merman said...

tatakbo na raw si CJC as senator para pabulaanan ang pambabatikos sa kaniya ng karamihan sa mga artists.

meron pa nga bang DELICADEZA ang karamihan sa atin?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Search this blog or the Web