Pura Luka Vega arrested in Manila over ‘Ama Namin’ drag performance
Updated 7:20 p.m., 8:41 p.m.
Pura Luka, whose real name is Amadeus Fernando Pagente and goes by the pronouns they/them, was arrested in Manila following charges of “immoral doctrines, obscene publications and exhibitions, and indecent shows.”
The drag performer, who’s currently in custody at Manila Police Station 3 (Sta. Cruz), was served the warrant of arrest issued by Acting Presiding Judge Czarina Encarnacion Samonte-Villanueva of the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 36, despite filing a motion to reopen the investigation on the case.
According to Manila Police, the arrest warrant stemmed from the criminal complaint filed by devotees of the Black Nazarene led by the Hijos del Nazareno based at the Quiapo Church, or the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene. The group described itself as a “brotherhood” established in 1939, with the primary duty and responsibility of “ensuring the safety of the Holy Image of the Black Nazarene before, during and after the procession.”
Pura Luka is required to post bail of P72,000 for their release, however, further details about their case remain unknown, as of this writing.
‘Not a crime’
“Drag Den” director Rod Singh also spoke about Pura’s arrest on her X (formerly Twitter) account on the same day. The filmmaker also goes by the pronouns she/her.
“Pura Luka Vega was arrested this afternoon after failing to attend the preliminary investigations of the criminal case filed against them in Manila. The arrest warrant was issued today despite filing a motion to reopen today. They are now in police custody,” she wrote.
DRAG IS NOT A CRIME! FREE PURA LUKA VEGA! pic.twitter.com/9JILK27Aqp
— rod singh (@iamrodafrog) October 4, 2023
“There was no subpoena received by PLV or their team for the preliminary investigations in Manila. Meanwhile, the PLV diligently attends their preliminary investigations in QC. Drag is not a crime. Free Pura Luka Vega,” she added.
Meanwhile, Pura’s “Drag Den castmate” Naia Black spoke about their arrest on their X page.
im so fucking disturbed today is supposed to be a celebration of the local drag scene but instead one of our sisters is in police custody!! FREE @puralukavega!!!!
— naia supreme era (@brianblack_) October 4, 2023
“Luka got arrested today. During ‘Drag Race PH’ finale. someones gotta say something [because] this is f*ck*d up!!!! im so f*ck*ng disturbed today is supposed to be a celebration of the local drag scene but instead one of our sisters is in police custody!! FREE @puralukavega!!!!” she wrote.
A separate case is filed against Pura Luka before the Quezon City prosecutor’s office by the Christian churches under the Philippines for Jesus Movement (PJM) for the drag artist’s “Ama Namin” (The Lord’s Prayer) drag performance. The religious group cited a supposed violation of Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code and in relation to the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
Since their viral “Ama Namin” performance in July, Pura was tagged as persona non grata or unwelcome person in 17 areas in the Philippines, including the capital city of Manila, where the image of the Black Nazarene is kept and is celebrated during its feast day in January. EDV