- Freddie Aguilar's appointment as the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) chair is illegal, says critic
- The "Anak" singer Freddie Aguilar was appointed by President Duterte to head NCCA
- According to the rules of the Commission, his appointment is a way of circumventing the rules
- NCAA chair is not an appointive position but one that is democratically elected by members themselves
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Kami.com.ph.
In 1992, Republic Act No. 7356 created the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). It is primarily tasked to preserve, develop and promote Philippine arts and culture.
Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte publicly announced his appointment of Freddie Aguilar as Chairman of NCAA.
Aside from scowling rage from netizens all over social media expressing their disapproval of such appointment, critics from legal and academe sector showed up and examined the legality of the President’s surprising act.
READ ALSO: Find out why Duterte admires Freddie Aguilar
If RA 7356 is studied the Commission is made into existence to manifest that our own culture is an expression of freedom and belief and thus a human right that should be accorded due respect and be allowed to flourish.
As an expression of our freedom, the agency, although created through a political act should as much as possible avoid tints of politics and partisan influence in the government, Antonio Montalvan of Inquirer expressed in his write-up.
Through a unique four-step process, anyone can have the chance to be a member or even head the said agency (if qualified, of course) and shape the national culture and arts future in the country - the procedure laid down in Montalvan's article simply as follows:
The first step is for all localities from all over the country to submit nominees to the NCAA’s 19 committees. And when the 19 cultural workers are already chosen and seated, they will democratically elect among themselves who would be the committee heads.
Then, elected committee heads to choose the heads of their subcommissions.
For the final step, the democratically elected subcommission heads automatically sit as members of the Board of Commissioners from where ‘the chair is democratically elected’ (emphasis provided).
As how it is seen, the Chair of NCAA is not a Presidential appointee, but a democratically elected member of the commission. The article also revealed that despite the efforts to shield NCAA from any political influence (being an agency built for expression of freedom), presidents – past and present – still try to meddle with its affairs by inserting nominees for NCAA’s list of National Artist, which according to the commission’s charter is against the law.
And once again, this time, President Duterte ‘appointed’ Freddie Aguilar as the Commission’s Head for the mean time while they are in the process of creating the Department of Culture and Arts – a topic which is also long been debated and deliberated for 6 years now.
“Appointing Aguilar as NCCA chair is a flagrant, brazen act of circumventing the law. Dash to smithereens the now-abused mantra—it introduces a dirty element by giving out a chairmanship as a political reward. The position is not a prize for political support, however, one is an artist or cultural worker,” opined Montalvan.
For one, it defeats the purpose which is to defend the invulnerability and sovereignty of culture and arts governance in the country. Or worse, it will immediately remove the private sector participation.
It would not cause this much tremor from critics and commentators if the person appointed is one with known qualification in the field, but they seem to be not convinced about Freddie’s.
Earlier, he was asked about what he stance is regarding the Torre de Manila issue. Faking the expertise, he said that Rizal’s historic monument should rather be transferred across the street where the concrete carabaos are.
This created mixed reactions from netizens, most found it funny. "Why doesn’t he ride the carabaos himself?" suggested one.
The original opinion piece was written by Antonio Montalvan II. See full article on inquirer.net