Inquirer apologizes for offensive comic strip
The comic strip which appeared in the June 4, 2013 issue of the Inquirer went viral in social media and drew mixed reactions from netizens and readers, particularly from the faculty, students and alumni of St. Scholastica’s College which was mentioned in the strip.
The full statement issued by PDI Publisher Raul C. Pangalangan follows:
‘‘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.’’
The Pugad Baboy comic strip has been running in the Inquirer, which is normally regarded as a liberal newspaper, since 1988.
The cartoon offers stinging commentaries on life in the Philippines seen through the eyes of a community composed of obese characters.
In the controversial issue published on Tuesday, characters criticized the hypocrisy of homophobic Christians, while suggesting that all the “beautiful” students and some nuns at St. Scholastica were lesbians.
Founded in 1906, St Scholastica’s College is one of the country’s most prestigious schools for girls.
The school’s president, Sister Mary Thomas Prado, sent a letter of protest to the Inquirer threatening to sue it unless an inquiry was launched.
Pernia told Agence France Presse that 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.—INQUIRER.net, Agence France-Presse
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