No violation of law in the selection of national artists- NCCA chair says

August 6, 2009 9:21 am 

MANILA, Aug. 6 — Malacanang on Thursday stressed that there is no violation of the law in the selection of the new set of National Artists.

Education Undersecretary Vilma Labrador, who is also chairman of the National Commission for Cultures and Arts (NCCA) said the seven new national artists underwent the deliberation process and passed the needed criteria.

The President has recently approved the nomination of theater stalwart Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, filmmakers Manuel Urbano (aka Manuel Conde) and Carlo Magno Jose J. Caparas, visual artist Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, novelist Lazaro Francisco, architect Francisco “Bobby” Mañosa and fashion designer Jose “Pitoy” Moreno as National Artists.

But concerned artists said that of the seven, only three—Conde, Alcuaz and Francisco—were short-listed in May by the selection committee composed of members of the NCCA and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

Labrador said the CCP and NCCA are “just recommendatory.”

Based on the guidelines in choosing the national artists, she said, the duty of the NCCA and the CCP board is to help in the process of the nominees.

After that, she said, they submitted the nominees to the President.

However, she said, there are some nominees that are also submitted to the President coming from some entities or personalities which have vast knowledge on whose artists that need to be given awards.

After all, she said it is the prerogative of the President as stated under the law.

“What is important is that we did not violate any laws, we followed the criteria,” Labrador said in the press briefing at the New Executive Building in Malacanang.

She pointed out that these new national artists are all qualified, which “enjoy broad acceptance through prestigious national and international recognition.” (PNA)

LOR/ZST

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