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Pol Medina Jr. smells 'consPIGracy' over pullout of 'Pugad Baboy'

(UPDATED 4:30 p.m.) - Cartoonist Pol Medina Jr. suspects a "consPIGracy" (conspiracy) after the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) announced the removal of his popular comic strip "Pugad Baboy" from its comics section following the publication of a recycled piece on Tuesday that stirred controversy.

"The Pugad Baboy comic strip will not appear in Comic Relief section starting Friday, June 7," the Inquirer said on its Twitter account on Wednesday evening.

"Pending investigation by the Reader's Advocate on the controversial June 4 comic strip, the Inquirer is pulling out Pugad Baboy by P.M.Jr," the Inquirer added.

The comic 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 the all-girls' school St. Scholastica's College.

"Old comic strip"

However, in a post on his Facebook account on Thursday morning, Medina expressed his suspicion that the controversial comic strip was not the reason for the suspension of Pugad Baboy in the Inquirer.

"If you zoom in on that particular strip that got me fired, you'll see that the strip first appeared in MARCH. No reaction then," he said.

"It was reissued after I made a series of anti-Marcos strips, then BOOM! Nag-trending sa Twitter. Interesting. I smell a consPIGracy...." continued Medina, whose long-running daily cartoon features overweight and pig characters.

An editorial team member of the Philippine Daily Inquirer told GMA News Online that they are to issue a statement within the day.  

The cartoon strip has a wide national following and already has book versions.

Before Tuesday's recycled comic strip came out, the famous artist had been putting out cartoons strips that made jabs at the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, in reaction to several posts on social media that were praising the Martial Law dictatorship.

In one of the comic strips, a character suggested that those in favor of Martial Law but were not born in that era should should try living for two decades in North Korea, one of the few remaining totalitarian countries in the world.

The Inquirer started as an opposition newspaper that rose into prominence after Marcos was ousted in 1986, and it has since become the country's leading daily.


Medina later updated his status message on Facebook, retracting his statement that the Inquirer fired him.

“What? wait... hindi pa pala ako fired. Suspended lang hanggang magkaroon ng consensus na sipain ako. Pero... doon din siguro ang punta no'n. Sigh,” he said.

“'Yung strip na lumabas ngayon tungkol sa Voltes V--'yon ang dapat na lumabas noong June 4. Akala ko na -reject dahil bumunot sila sa archives ng ipapalit na strip at 'yon pang St. Scho na strip na lumabas noon pang March [ang] ipinalit,” Medina continued.

Shortly before noon, Medina posted another status message saying the Inquirer is still deliberating on what will happen to him.

"Holy pwet! Just got an email from PDI--they're still deliberating!! (Reader's Advocate) Mali 'yung post ko na fired na ako. Nakukuryente rin pala ako sa pagbabalita. Let's wait for the official word. Salamat sa suporta," he said.

Possible lawsuit from St. Scholastica's College?

St. Scholastica's College, through school president Sr. Mary Thomas Prado, said in a statement Wednesday that it will file a lawsuit against the Inquirer if the comic strip issue will not be addressed.

According to the statement, the school has already sent a letter to the Inquirer, part of which reads: "We protest in the strongest possible terms the way the school was singled out and our Sister-administrators accused of allowing homosexual relationships between its female students."

St. Scholastic's College said if the Inquirer and Medina will not conduct a dialogue with the school, the lawsuit will be filed.

However, the statement did not specify on what grounds the raps will be.

"The administration is seeking an audience with the person in charge of the Comic Relief Section and the cartoonist of Pugad Baboy, Mr. Medina," the statement said.

"If we will not hear from PDI this week, the lawsuit will be filed. If the dialogue will be arranged, we will be inviting administrators, faculty and students who care about this issue to join us. The entire Sisters community will be present," the statement also said.


Various Filipinos reacted to the news involving Medina. Cartoonist Gerry Alanguilan questioned the threat of a lawsuit against the Inquirer, noting that Medina was "only exposing the truth."

"Does the truth hurt a little too much? Pol is not to blame here. He is simply pointing out a hypocrisy committed by others," Alanguilan said.

"The fact that PDI caved in to the pressure tells us a lot about PDI and what their position is on certain issues. And I personally find it disappointing," Alanguilan added,

"Why react St. Scho? What's so wrong in having lesbian students? Are they less in personhood than heterosexuals?" said Elizabeth Angsioco, national chairperson of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP), on Twitter.

"I think Pol Medina Jr [should] publicly apologize for misjudging the whole Scholastican community," said Twitter user Abby Enaje.
- Gian C. Geronimo/VVP/YA, GMA News