Thursday, August 20, 2009

National Artist

National Artists ask Supreme Court to stop 2009 awards rites
By Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) Updated August 20, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Groups of artists and concerned citizens yesterday trooped to the Supreme Court (SC) to stop the government from conferring the National Artist award on film director Carlo J. Caparas and three others over alleged violations of rules and the Constitution.

The petitioners, led by former recipients of the prestigious award, asked the High Court to issue a temporary restraining order enjoining the Palace from awarding Caparas, Cecille Guidote-Alvarez, Jose “Pitoy” Moreno and Francisco MaƱosa, whose names were reportedly added by President Arroyo in the shortlist submitted by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), the two bodies tasked by law to select National Artists.

(Please read the whole story from Philstar by clicking on the title above)

My take:

I will take exception on this and dip my fingers in non-police or law enforcement issue.

I really cannot comprehend the ruckus being raised by these past awardees of THAT "National Artist" title. Looking at their names, as a Filipino National, I believe that they should be familiar to me, just like I am familiar with Jose Rizal as my national hero, the carabao as my national animal, the maya or eagle (whatever) as my national bird, etc. But national artists Virgilio Almario for literature, Bienvenido Lumbera for literature, Benedicto Cabrera for visual arts - painting, Napoleon Abueva for visual arts - sculpture, and Arturo Luz for visual arts - painting and sculpture? Well, I may be extremely art illiterate that I haven't heard of them yet but looking at their wikipedia entries, the common denominator of these people is that all their works are unheard by me and most probably only appreciated by their peers. I saw some pictures of Ben Cabrera posing in front of some of his paintings and I for the life of me cannot see why I should have paid him--a cash award of P100,000, a monthly pension, medical and hospitalization benefits, life insurance, arrangements and expenses for a state funeral, a place of honor at state functions, and recognition at cultural events,emoluments of a National Artist under the law, from funds that come from my taxes paid in blood, toils, tears, and sweat--for all those paintings that I cannot understand nor see the beauty considering that they simply look like splatters of paint thrown in a piece of canvass.

Now, why not Carlo Caparas? Since my elementary days, he made me familiar with Tagalog (not Filipino duh, don't kid yourself, TAGALOG!) language which is not my spoken language at home. He made me familiar with the happenings in other parts of country with his colorful stories (Though illusrated by other artists, I think he has the right to claim ownership of those characters for himself. The illustrator can be replaced anytime and the story remains the same but that cannot be said about the writer. Walt Disney characters and cartoons are the work of many illustrators, but they all remain faceless and nameless except for a short moment in the end credits. All credits virtually go to Walt Disney himself!)

My point is that, maybe it is time that a National Artist come from the ranks of the masa. Somebody who does not kowtow to the whims and caprices of the high and the mighty in the so-called "art world." Somebody whose work many people understand.

CASE CLOSED?????!!!!!

Case closed: PNP clears ‘euro-general’

By Nancy C. Carvajal
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 05:08:00 08/20/2009

Filed Under: Euro Generals, Police, Graft & Corruption

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine National Police had cleared its former comptroller, Chief Supt. Eliseo de la Paz, for accountability of the 105,000 euros seized from him by Russian authorities last year during an Interpol seminar.

“He had returned the money to the PNP and we have cleared him,” Director General Jesus Verzosa told the Philippine Daily Inquirer Wednesday during the inauguration of a new police station in Quezon City.

(Please read the full PDI story by clicking on the link above)

My take:

If only to salvage whatever little credibility left to the PNP as an organization, Director General Versoza should resign together with this pronouncement. What dela Paz did was pure and simple Malversation penalized in Article 127 of the Revised Penal Code which reads:

Art. 217. Malversation of public funds or property. – Presumption of malversation. - Any public officer who, by the reason of the duties of his office, is accountable for public funds or property, shall appropriate the same, or shall take or misappropriate or shall consent, or through abandonment or negligence, shall permit any other person to take such public funds or property wholly or partially, or shall otherwise be guilty of misappropriation or malversation of such funds or property …

The malversation was CONSUMMATED. If not for the interference of Russian authorities, we would have not known of this at all! It is immaterial whether dela Paz returned the money or not: the crime was already completed and his act of returning the money is actually an evidence against him! It shows that indeed, the disdursement of the money is unauthorized in the first place. Having stated this, then all the previous statements made by the PNP top brass during the early days of this case are then barefaced lies. It was, at one time or another, claimed that the money is for the allowances of delegates, for procurement of surveillance equipments, private money for purchase of chandeliers and watches, etc. Now the PNP finally says that it was returned to the national treasury. So what is the truth all along?

Badge of Honor? Hahahahahaha!