Pol Medina Jr. apologizes, Pugad Baboy on hiatus
Pugad Baboy cartoonist Pol Medina Jr. apologized to St. Scholastica's College for singling out the exclusive girls' Catholic school in a controversial comic strip published recently.
In a report on Thursday from Susan Enriquez of 24 Oras, Medina admitted that he crossed the line with the Pugad Baboy strip which came out on June 4 in the Comic Relief section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
“Medyo mapait talaga 'yung punchline na lumabas at naka-offend talaga ako doon,” Medina said, adding, “Ma'am, sorry, Sister, sa nagawa ko.”
The controversial strip in question tackled the subject of Christian hypocrisy in relating with people from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.
"Galit kayo sa mga gays and lesbians pero sa mga sagrado Katolikong all-girls iskul na pinapatakbo pa mandin ng mga madre e kino-condone ang pagka-tibo ng mga estudyante," one character says.
"O' nga 'no? Sa St. Scho e wala kang makikitang magandang Kulasa na walang girlfriend," replies another character, making a reference to St. Scholastica's College.
The strip was widely shared on the internet and reached the administration of the school.
“We protest in the strongest possible terms the way the school was singled out and our sister-administrations accused of allowing homosexual relationships between its female students,” the school said in a statement.
The school also demanded Medina and the PDI editor in charge of the Comic Relief section to present themselves.
“If we will not hear from PDI this week, the lawsuit will be filed,” it added.
PDI earlier issued an apology about the incident and explained that it was caused by a “mix-up.”
“...preliminary findings show that this cartoon strip had been rejected for its insensitivity when it was submitted in April 2013 but, due to a mix-up in the comics section, was picked up for publication,” the PDI statement read.
The PDI also belied reports that Medina has been fired. They said he remains a contributor for the PDI but Pugad Baboy will currently be put on hiatus while an investigation is ongoing.
Pugad Baboy is a satirical comic strip usually reflecting real life problems in Philippine society. It has been published by the PDI for the past 25 years.
Fans rally behind Medina
On Medina's Facebook page, Pugad Baboy fans poured in their support for Medina.
Rafael Paolo Liao: “to sir Pol Medina Jr.: we support you! ganun talaga sa satirical comics. bato bato sa langit ang tamaan wag magagalit.”
Kharee Baes: “PMJ has been writing/cartooning brilliantly even before this issue came up. Mirroring the typical Filipino, the best, the worst and all in between, is his thing. He could poke you negatively or wake you up positively with the strips he makes. And by these, i would say, I AM STILL WAITING FOR THE NEXT PB RELEASE. K.”
Bakero Fish: “Sometimes apologizing for the sake of peace is not the way. What does "sorry" accomplish anyway but to pacify the supposedly "aggrieved" parties? Can you take back words uttered or written? What if you have to apologize for an ugly truth? What happens to the message? Sometimes all you do is let people think that hissy fits work and let them live their insecurities for one more day.”
—Andrei Medina/KG, GMA News