Was Nora Aunor rejected a second time for the National Artist Award? Something silly seems to have happened on the way to today’s National Artist Award ceremonies at the CCP.
Not surprisingly, it has something to do with the rejection (again!) of actress Nora Aunor from her well-deserved–according to her supporters–place as one the country’s National Artists for Film.
Reports are still coming in and the true picture has yet to emerge, but here’s the story as it is shaping up so far:
1) As of yesterday (October 23), when the list of seven National Artist Award recipients was officially announced, it was speculated over social media that Malacañang had dropped Nora Aunor’s name from the original list of eight recipients.
If true, that would mean that we should have two National Artists for Film: pioneering indie filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik and Nora Aunor.
Having two winners for one category is not unusual; this year there are two National Artists for Literature: Cebuano writer Resil Mojares and Hiligaynon writer Ramon Muzones.
By law, the only person with the power to remove a National Artist award recipient from the list of awardees is the President. So it was logical to presume that it was President Rodrigo Duterte who took Aunor’s name off the list.
2) Interestingly, there are now unconfirmed reports that Malacañang is denying that the President had anything to do with Aunor’s rejection.
3) There are also reports on social media saying that the joint body assigned to select National Artists (a committee formed by the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts) merely resubmitted Aunor’s nomination papers from the Nonoy Aquino administration.
In short, CCP-NCCA still deemed Nora Aunor as worthy of the National Artist Award.
So if CCP-NCCA wants Aunor to be National Artist for Film, and if President Duterte has no objection to that–why isn’t Nora Aunor scheduled to receive the award this afternoon at the Cultural Center of the Philippines?
All eyes, including the eyes of angry Noranians, are now turning towards the Honors Committee.
The Honors Committee, based in Malacañang is the one tasked to prepare the final list of National Artist Award recipients that the President has to sign. It is also tasked to organize the awards ceremony and confer the honors to the recipients.
The Honors Committee has no authority to add to or remove any name from the list of National Artists selected by the CCP-NCCA body.
However, with CCP, NCCA, and the Palace saying they have no objection to Aunor’s National Artist award, there’s now speculation that someone from the Honors Committee may be responsible for dropping her name from the list.
This is a developing story.
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