The Supreme Court invalidated and set aside a presidential order conferring the National Artist award on Director Carlos Caparas, former NCCA Executive Director Cecile Guidote Alvarez and two others..
The Court ruled that the July 2009 proclamation signed by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declaring as National Artists Guidote-Alvarez, filmmaker Caparas, architect Francisco “Bobby” Mañosa, and fashion designer Jose “Pitoy” Moreno is “invalid” and must be “set aside.”
The conferment of the National Artist award on the four was suspended by the High Court in August 2009 following a petition by Virgilio Almario and Bienvenido Lumbera, who are both National Artists, and many others.
The petitioners had insisted that the award was illegal since the four were not among the nominees shortlisted by the National Commission on Culture and Arts and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).
Two justices inhibited from the decision: Associate Justices Mariano del Castillo and Marvic Leonen. While Associate Justice Arturo Brion is on leave.
The Order of National Artists is the highest national recognition given to Filipino individuals who have made significant contributions to the development of Philippine music, dance, theater, visual arts, literature, film and broadcast arts, and architecture.
The awarding of the title is administered by the NCCA and the CCP, and conferred by the President. The two agencies oversee the selection process and transmit the shortlist to the President. The President then issues an executive order conferring the award on each of the artists on the shortlist.
The awards were created by President Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s.
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