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Pitoy Moreno unaware he’s not yet receiving National Artist award

August 26, 2009 11:21pm
While the Supreme Court’s decision to stop Malacaňang from conferring National Artist awards this year was all in the news, fashion designer Jose ‘Pitoy’ Moreno, one of the seven nominees for the title, was completely clueless about the controversy’s latest development.

"I don't know that. I don't know where I belong now," Moreno told GMANews.TV in a phone interview when asked for comment Wednesday night.

Moreno said he iwas already confused about the status of his award.

"Where does that place me now: am I approved or disapproved? I don't know anymore," he said.

The fashion designer also said he had not received any official announcement about the latest development.

"There has been no official letter or announcement on this. I don't know what they're saying," he said.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday stopped President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo from conferring the National Artist title to all seven nominees after several national artists and cultural workers questioned Arroyo’s inclusion of four names into the roster of awardees not shortlisted by the selection committee.

Moreno, who was supposed to get the National Artist for Fashion Design, is one of the nominees this year under question. The three others are: Cecile Guidote Alvarez, Magno Jose Carlo Caparas, and Francisco 'Bobby' Mañosa.

Under the rules, nominees for the National Artists Awards are screened by the boards of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) for submission to the President.

According to the petitioners, for this year’s batch of awardees, the two bodies submitted four nominees: Lazaro Francisco (posthumous for literature), Dr. Ramon Santos (music), Manuel Conde (posthumous for film and broadcast), and Federico Aguilar Alcuaz (visual arts, painting, sculpture, and mixed media).

President Arroyo, however, dropped Santos and named instead Guidote-Alvarez, Caparas, Moreno, and Mañosa, who were not in the shortlist.

Despite the outrage, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita on Wednesday said the President will stick with her nominees unless the Supreme Court rules that she has to reconsider her selection. - Andreo Calonzo, GMANews.TV