Drag queens, LGBTQIA+ members express support for Pura Luka Vega after arrest | Inquirer Entertainment

Drag queens, LGBTQIA+ members express support for Pura Luka Vega after arrest

/ 10:05 AM October 05, 2023

Pura Luka Vega. Image from Instagram / Manila Police PIO (mugshot)

Pura Luka Vega. Image from Instagram / Manila Police PIO (mugshot)

The hashtag #FreePuraLukaVega has become one of the trending topics on X after drag queens and LGBTQIA+ community members have rallied behind Pura Luka Vega, who was earlier arrested in Manila.

Pura Luka, whose real name is Amadeus Fernando Pagente and who goes by the pronouns they/them, was arrested Wednesday, Oct. 4, following charges of “immoral doctrines, obscene publications and exhibitions, and indecent shows.” The arrest order stemmed from the complaint filed by devotees of the Black Nazarene led by the Hijos del Nazareno-Central over Pura Luka’s “Ama Namin” drag performance.


Pura Luka’s arrest was condemned by drag queens including Manila Luzon, Eva Le Queen, Dee Dee Marie Holliday, Corazon Filipinas, Hana Beshie and Shewarma, describing it as “oppressive” and a form of “persecution.”

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A post shared by Manila Luzon (@manilaluzon)

“How absurd and blatant oppressive it is na months after that video they are still coming for Luka?!? ITO ANG HINDI TAMA SA MATA NG DIYOS!” Eva Le Queen said, appealing for help for Pura Luka’s bail.

“Pura’s arrest is not justified. It is clearly persecution,” Dee Dee Marie Holliday stated. “It is also, possibly, a smokescreen to the controversies that the PH government is facing right now. The timing is sus. Mas madali kasing pagbuntunan ng sisi kapag LGBT. Easier to demonize us.”

“An attack to one of us is an attack to the [LGBTQIA+] community. We were supposed to celebrate the crowning [‘Drag Race Philippines’] but one of us got arrested that same night!” Corazon Filipinas, for her part, wrote. “Clearly, [the Philippine] government is diverting our attention away from more pressing national issues. WE WILL NOT BE MOVED.”

Miss Trans Global 2020 Mela Habijan, social media personality AC Soriano, musician Nica del Rosario as well as LGBTQIA+ student organization UP Babaylan were also among those who declared support to Pura Luka.

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The hashtag #FreePuraLukaVega has almost 28,000 tweets as of this writing.

Pura Luka Vega

Image: X

‘It’s unfair’

Pura Luka, via an interview for “Frontline” on Wednesday, admitted that the arrest came as a surprise to them as they reiterated that they did not receive the subpoena on the criminal case filed by religious group Hijos del Nazareno-Central.

“It’s unfair, but we’ve been handed the warrant of arrest so I be like, ‘OK, sige.’ It was kind of like a bit of surprise,” the drag artist said. “We tried to submit a motion to reopen the case and to submit the counter-affidavit, so it was kind of a shock to be handed the warrant of arrest because I feel like it was a bit quick.”

They further noted that the reception toward their “Ama Namin” drag performance was a “little blown out of proportion,” and stressed, “I stand by what I said that when you’re doing drag—kasi it’s a form of storytelling—so it’s really just telling a story, wherein I envisioned Jesus being one with the queer people.”

Pura Luka’s legal team will process on Thursday, Oct. 5, the drag artist’s bail which is placed by the court at P72,000.  /ra

TAGS: drag queens, LGBTQ community, Pura Luka Vega

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