Nora Aunor snubbed by Pnoy in National Artist Award
Noranians and culture authorities are puzzled why Superstar Nora Aunor was snubbed by President Benigno Aquino III in the proclamation of new National Artists.
Aquino has not yet given a comment on the approved list of National Artists. But, in answer to angry fans, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Junior clarified that ‘The President has the prerogative to approve all or none, without needing to explain.
‘In making the [to confer the Order of the National Artist], the President considered how each of the nominees measured up to the criteria for choice.
‘We are certain that his decision was based on what will best serve the national interest because the Order of the National Artist gives recognition to those who excelled in the arts and letters and embodied the goodness and nobility of the Filipino people.’
For supporters of Nora Aunor, however, her international recognition as an actress is more than enough for her to deserve the National Artist for Film award this year. The country’s top culture bodies National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) have jointly recommended Nora Aunor for the award in their final list submitted to the president.
NCCA Chairman Felipe de Leon Junior lamented ‘I cannot understand, Malacañang has not yet given an explanation. This is a big loss to the film industry because it lost an opportunity to have another artistic role model.’ De Leon had earlier said that whatever personal issues Nora Aunor had to deal with in the past should not be used as criteria for the conferment of National Artist.
The NCCA, CCP and fans of the Superstar are all expecting an explanation for the president’s decision, which many believe had been mired by politics. In the past, Aquino had conferred the same award to Fernando Poe Junior in 2012.
De Leon said that NCCA will ask the Palace to reconsider if there is no big reason behind Nora Aunor’s exclusion from the list, something that supporters can hope for to finally give their idol her much-deserved recognition. However, many people are not supporting this petition as it may mean Nora Aunor will be beholden to the president.
Those who are named National Artist of the Philippines receive a cash award, monthly stipend, life insurance coverage and a state funeral to be covered by the government.