Catholic lay groups to file charges vs CCP officials Thursday
MANILA, Philippines—Despite the resignation of Cultural Center of the Philippines visual arts director Karen Flores, a coalition of Roman Catholic lay groups and other Christian denominations are set to file on Thursday criminal charges against her and other CCP officials, including artists Mideo Cruz, for displaying what they deemed to be a sacrilegious art exhibit.
Jo Imbong, the coalition’s legal counsel, said the group would sue 11 CCP officials and Cruz before the Office of the Ombudsman for exhibiting an art that offended the Catholic religion.
“They will be sued altogether, not just the artist but even those from the CCP because it would not have been exhibited if they did not allow it,” Imbong said.
Imbong added that the group would proceed with the case even if the CCP on Tuesday closed the exhibit, titled “Kulo (Boil),” due to mounting complaints that several items mocked and insulted religious personages and icons.
Flores, CCP president Raul Sunico and nine other members of the CCP board of trustees will be sued, according to Imbong.
However, one trustee, Arsenio Lizaso, would not be sued because of “documentary” evidence showing he objected to the exhibition, she said.
Imbong said the basis of their case would be Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code, which has outlawed exhibits that “offend any race or religion.” The penalty for the offense includes prision mayor or six to 12 years’ imprisonment, as well as a fine ranging from P6,000 to P12,000.
The exhibit included an image of Jesus Christ with a penis stuck to the nose and adorned with a rosary; another image of Christ with black ink flowing out of the eyes; a crucifix and cross draped with a pink, stretched-out condom; various religious images closely surrounded by pictures of women that are scantily clad; and a statue of Jesus with a red ball attached to the nose and with red ears resembling those of Disney’s Mickey Mouse.
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