Aquino: Drugs reason why Nora Aunor not a National Artist
CLARK AIR BASE, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III admitted here Tuesday that drugs was the reason he rejected Nora Aunor’s nomination as National Artist for film.
Aquino broke his silence for the first time on the issue in which he has been criticized for alleged politicking.
“Sa aking pananaw yung national artist binibigyan natin ng honor na ito, puri na ito ay malaki ang ambag sa lahing Pilipino at dapat tularan,” Aquino said at the sidelines of the Philippine Air Force’s 67th anniversary at the Clark Air Base in Pampanga.
(In my opinion, those being given the honor of national artist are those who had a huge contribution to the Philippines and should serve as role models.)
“Ang naging problema ko lang dun ay alam naman natin lahat…naconvict po sya sa drugs,” he added, referring to Aunor.
(My only problem with Nora Aunor’s nomination is that she was convicted for the use of illegal drugs.)
He emphasized the country’s long struggle against illegal drugs, adding that there are now reports of foreign drug syndicates entering the country.
The President said the government has a zero tolerance policy on illegal drugs.
He, however, expressed awe not only by the Superstar’s acting ability but also by her life story.
“From selling water in the train stations to Tawag ng Tanghalan, I’m very impressed,” Aquino said.
Despite his admiration, Aquino was still firm in his decision to exclude Aunor.
“The message here is that drugs are bad, I cannot emphasize that enough,” Aquino said.
“If I made her as a national artist, how would she be as a role model?”
At the same time, Aquino said his father, the late Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., was a fan of the widely popular actress.
Almost a decade ago, Aunor was arrested for drug possession after drug paraphernalia and methamphetamine were allegedly found in her bag at the Los Angeles International Airport.
However, in 2007 media reported that the actress was cleared of the charges after she complied with the court’s condition of undergoing a six-month drug rehabilitation program.
Contrary to Aquino’s statement, Aunor’s lawyer on Tuesday said the actress was never convicted.
Originally posted: July 1, 2014 | 12:15 pm
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