- Vivian Velez questioned Freddie Aguilar’s background and skills to be the new commissioner of NCCA on a Facebook post as rumors started circulating regarding his appointment
- Freddie Aguilar shared in an interview that he originally requested the creation of a Department of Culture and Arts but was offered by Duterte’s assistant to head the NCCA in the meantime
- The current commissioner of NCCA clarified that Aguilar’s statement can’t be true because the new commissioner should be elected not appointed
Actress Vivian Velez didn’t hide her concern over the appointment of Freddie Aguilar as the new commissioner of National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) under President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.
Even though Velez is a known supporter of Duterte since the elections, it did not hamper her from questioning the decision.
The actress shared on a Facebook post on Friday, July 15, that the president should not be simply appointing a commissioner without making sure if the person is qualified for the position at first.
According to her, “It’s a delicate position that entails higher educational background about the arts and particularly high management skilled individual.” As she continued to enumerate the responsibilities of a commissioner, Velez started questioning Aguilar’s lack of background and skills required for such.
On the other hand, Aguilar clarified that he originally requested the head of the state for an establishment of a new department which focuses solely on culture and arts through an interview with TV5’s ‘Aksyon Tonite.’
The 63-year old singer added that Duterte’s executive assistant, Christopher “Bong” Go, called and requested him to lead the NCCA while waiting for the department to be created.
“Sa madaling salita, kung pakikinggan ko ang sinabi ni Bong Go ay para na rin niyang sinabi na ibibigay ng mahal na presidente ang Department of Culture and Arts,” Aguilar reasoned.
(In other words, if I will listen to Bong Go, he’s also saying that the beloved president will give the Department of Culture and Arts.)
In a text message, the current NCCA chairman, Felipe de Leon, clarified that the position isn’t appointive according to Republic Act 7356. The Board of Commissioners will elect the chairman and the inclusion in the board itself will take four levels.
He suggested to take the rumors with skepticism and added: "The President has not made any formal announcement that he has appointed Mr. Aguilar. Doing that would be patently illegal. I suppose the President will respect the law."
Presidential Communications secretary Martin Andanar said that there is no information yet on the matter.
Freddie Aguilar’s appointment started as a rumor when several celebrities started getting appointed to different government positions. The host-actor-singer Arnell Ignacio was given a position in Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) with singer Jimmy Bondoc who was also appointed in the same establishment. Ignacio, Jimmy, and Aguilar are all known supporters of Duterte during the elections.