Inquirer: Sorry for 'offensive' Pugad Baboy strip
MANILA, Phiippines - The Philippine Daily Inquirer on Thursday, June 6, issued a public apology for the controversial Pugad Baboy comic strip by cartoonist Pol Medina Jr.
Calling Medina's cartoon "offensive," Inquirer publisher Raul Pangalangan clarified that Medina was not fired but his cartoon will not appear in the newspaper pending further investigation.
In an interview with Agence France-Presse, the Inquirer's internal ombudsman Elena Pernia said the inquiry would look into the editorial processes that allowed the controversial comic strip to appear in the paper, and a decision on the cartoon would be made soon after.
The comic strip, which appeared in the Inquirer on Tuesday, June 4, depicted two characters talking about how hypocritical it is for Christians to denounce homosexuality when gays and lesbians are tolerated in Catholic all-girls schools. It went on to name St Scholastica's College as an example.
Below is the full statement issued by Pangalangan:
‘‘The Philippine Daily Inquirer apologizes for the offensive Pugad Baboy cartoon by P.M. Junior on June 4, 2013. In the words of the president of St. Scholastica’s College, 'our school was singled out and our Sister-Administrators accused of allowing homosexual relationships between its female students.
‘‘Our Reader’s Advocate, Elena E. Pernia, has begun an inquiry into this matter. Her 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 Inquirer confirms its commitment to the highest standards of accuracy, fairness and good taste.
‘‘Contrary to erroneous news reports, P.M. Junior was not fired and remains a contributor. Pugad Baboy will not appear in the Inquirer, however, pending further investigation.’’
St Scholastica's College president Sr Mary Thomas Prado sent a letter to the Inquirer seeking an audience with the Inquirer on the day the comic strip was published.
Part of the letter 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."
Medina, for his part, has hinted at a possible "conspiracy" regarding the issue. He said the comic strip was republished after he created a series of strips against former president Ferdinand Marcos. – Rappler.com