Malacanang respects SC's order on National Artist award — Bello

August 25, 2009 3:37 pm 

By Perfecto T. Raymundo Jr.

MANILA, Aug. 25 — A Cabinet official on Tuesday made it clear that Malacanang respects the Supreme Court's (SC's) "status quo" order in connection with the conferment of National Artist Award to four controversial awardees.

Secretary to the Cabinet Silvestre Bello III said that Malacanang Palace respects such order of the SC, adding that the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) is ready to file a comment on the petition in the next ten days.

In a five-page order, the SC ordered the Executive Department to maintain "status quo" prevailing before the petition was filed by a group of National Artist Awardees and academicians on Aug. 19, 2009.

According to SC Spokesman Lawyer Jose Midas Marquez, in a minute resolution issued by the SC en banc, a "status quo" order was issued by the SC against the conferment of the National Artist Award to Jose "Pitoy" Moreno, National Artist for fashion design; Francisco "Bobby" Manosa, National Artist for architecture, Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, National Artist for theater and Jose Carlo J. Caparas, National Artist for visual arts and films.

The resolution said that the SC justices would still await the comments to be submitted by respondents Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

Marquez explained that in a "status quo", the award and even the other benefits for a national artists, including the cash prize, cannot still be granted to the awardee.

Upon the submission of the comments, the SC would decide whether to conduct an oral argument on the matter.

Earlier, different groups of National Artists and the Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP) asked the SC to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the conferment of the National Artist Award to Moreno, Manosa, Alvarez and Caparas. (PNA)

/V3/PTR/

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