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This is the Pugad Baboy strip that got Pol Medina fired from the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Click for Larger Image

I use the term \”fired\” because it is the same term that Pol Medina himself uses to describe his situation in Facebook in this post. Whether he is truly fired or simply suspended, remains to be seen. But as this article indicates, Pugad Baboy will be off the PDI starting Friday.

(UPDATE!) Pol has confirmed that he is simply suspended, pending investigation.

Based on a letter posted by a commenter on Pol\’s post on Facebook, PDI apparently received a threat of lawsuit from Sr. Mary Thomas Prado, OSB, President of St. Scholastica, which was the subject of the strip. It appears PDI folded under the pressure, and cancelled the strip.

There are many issues at play here and I will address every one of them.

The first issue is that of PDI editorial and their approval of this strip. Pol Medina Jr. is probably the most popular cartoonist in the Philippines, bar none. He began his stint on PDI with Pugad Baboy in 1988 with his scathing political satire that made people stop and think about current Philippine issues. PDI was probably the best place for this strip because back in the 1980\’s PDI was known to be the bravest newspaper daily out there, going head to head against ex-dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his cronies.

It is my opinion that Pugad Baboy is an excellent comic strip, employing a unique kanto-style comedy that regular Filipinos would easily recognize and relate to. It was funny, it was intelligent, it was brave, and it was at times controversial. I know that I am not alone in the habit of checking out this strip first before even reading the news in this paper. I know that I am not alone in my habit of buying PDI simply because of Pugad Baboy countless times for many years.

As I\’ve said, Pugad Baboy has been occasionally controversial, but that who Pol is. He recounts on his Facebook that he wanted to start doing comic strips as early as the 1970\’s, but during Marcos\’s time, satire could land you in jail. Pol opted to leave the Philippines and work as an OFW in the Middle East, and only went back to do his strips after Marcos was deposed. And Pol just let it rip. This was a new age of freedom, an age when artists could freely express political views. Or so we thought.

Pol has posted many rejected Pugad Baboy strips (rejected by PDI Editors) on his Facebook. It indicates that there is a certain amount of editorial control, and that there are still some strips that PDI feels perhaps the public cannot handle.

But this strip about Lesbianism in Catholic schools was approved by PDI Editorial and was published in the newspaper. Any politically, or religiously charged strip will always gather controversy, and this one was no exception. Pol and PDI have published controversial strips before. This was nothing new. But for some reason, when a protest was raised against this strip, PDI practically said, with their firing of Pol that, \”Hey, it wasn\’t US, it Was HIM.\” And promptly threw Pol under the bus, washing their hands of any responsibility.

What changed? Why is this instance different from the rest? The fact that PDI approved the strip, this means they stand by with what it says, and that they stand by with their cartoonist. To fire Pol and not stand by him is a gutless move from a newspaper that purports to have \”Balanced News, FEARLESS VIEWS.\” It\’s a sentiment that carried them over from the Marcos years, a sentiment they apparently no longer truly believe in. What happened? A change in editorial policy? What? Who knows?

Another issue: Pol hints that this strip was dated March, and that nobody protested then. But after he posted a few anti-Marcos strips, this other strip suddenly got revived and is now the subject of much controversy. Pol calls it \”consPIGracy\”.

All right, I am not aware of any internal politics within PDI, and probably Pol knows something we don\’t. As an outsider, I find it strange that the late President Marcos, his family and supporters would have any power over PDI, specially considering PDI was the most anti-Marcos newspaper back in the day. Has things changed so much in the past few decades? Is there something going on behind the scenes we know nothing about? Time will tell! Right now I can\’t even begin to speculate about this issue.

Another issue: Why is St. Scholastica admin protesting?

From the alleged letter St. Scholastica admin sent to PDI, it appears their beef is the allegation that they allow homosexual relationships to occur between their students. For a Catholic school, this is only a natural reaction, since homosexuality, homosexual acts, and gay marriage are frowned upon by the Catholic Church. Any allegation that they allow such things to happen is deeply offensive to their beliefs.

However, that does not change the fact that there are lesbians in an all girl school, and that relationships are bound to form, the same way relationships form with heterosexuals in coed schools. Whether these relationships are approved the admin or not, THEY ARE HAPPENING. And there\’s nothing they can do to stop it. Pol simply pointed out the this fact, a fact that many people already know. Threatening PDI and Pol with a lawsuit will not stop lesbians and it will not stop lesbians from forming relationships. To me that reeks of denial, and denial will only make things worse for these students.

I am for gay rights, and I am for gay marriage. To me there\’s absolutely nothing wrong with girls having relationships with girls their own age. But I know where these sisters are coming from. But at the same time, what kind of teeth would such a lawsuit have, when Pol was only exposing the truth? Does the truth hurt a little too much? Pol is not to blame here. He is simply pointing out a hypocrisy committed by others.

I sincerely hope that this does not result in an administrative crackdown on lesbian relationships in this school and at other schools. That would be devastating the students involved.

The fact that PDI caved in to ths pressure tells us a lot about PDI and what their position is on certain issues. And I personally find it disappointing.

What can you do?

Send Pol Medina Jr. your words of support at his Facebook.
If you\’re on Twitter, tweet to the Philippine Daily Inquirer directly.
You can sign the petition to reinstate Pugad Baboy at the PDI.

Can we really accomplish anything with an online campaign? Who knows? But what I do know is we can\’t accomplish anything by staying quiet. I also know that PDI pulled Pugad Baboy because somebody complained. And it would only be their right to complain. This is a democracy after all. But we also have a right to complain when our freedom of expression is trampled upon. We only have to complain LOUDER.


49 Responses to “Pol Medina Jr. Fired from Philippine Daily Inquirer for Controversial Pugad Baboy Strip (UPDATED!)”

  1. Michael Rubio on June 6th, 2013 1:20 pm

    It’s quite terrible how PDI takes responsibility for the incident by firing the author.

    If they are as serious in taking responsibility then the editor must go as well.

  2. Miko on June 6th, 2013 1:23 pm

    Thank you for spear-heading this, Gerry. And thank you for articulating what a lot of people want to say…

    Times like this, I am proud to be a fan and supporter of the Pinoy Komikeros and Kartunistas.

  3. Carissa cruz on June 6th, 2013 2:12 pm

    Anong sinasabi ni pol medina na nagsasabi sya ng totoo. yes, there are gays/ lesbians kahit san eh alangan naman i-kick out sila sa catholic school dahil un ang sexual orientation nila. ang unjust naman nun. Nevertheless, The nuns never condoned any of those kind of relationships.

  4. Patricia Cruz on June 6th, 2013 2:35 pm

    The St. Scho nuns have gone crazy. I myself have been a student of a known all-girls school in QC and have witnessed open homosexual relationships in the school. It was really obvious. The girls weren’t hiding it and it seems that the nuns didn’t do anything about it. Why put the blame on Mr. Medina. His comic strip was just a reflection of what is really happening in real life. Why are they being blind about it? Inquirer sucks!

  5. Alberto Godinez on June 6th, 2013 2:54 pm

    You now have your topic for the next YouTube video…

  6. Mcgyver Doria on June 6th, 2013 2:55 pm

    Kudos to Pol Medina for being vigilant in pointing out the glaring truths the hypocritical ignore.

  7. Patrick Miel on June 6th, 2013 3:40 pm

    PDI owner Sandy Prieto is the wife of Philip Romualdez. Philip is the Son of Kokoy, the brother of Imelda Marcos.

  8. DISAPPOINTED! Pugad Baboy got cancelled from Philippine Daily Inquirer | giosdesk on June 6th, 2013 3:58 pm

    […] a very well written insight for what had happen from fellow komikero Gerry Allanguian on his site, pls check it out and voice your support for Pol Medina Jr. Let your voice be […]

  9. Ma. Pilar M. Ladioray on June 6th, 2013 4:02 pm

    Young girls form friendships everywhere, and these are not necessarily of the lesbian type. It would be quite difficult to distinguish what kind of relationship these girls have, and it would be discriminatory to break up these friendships on mere suspicion. Perhaps the administrators are just being careful.

  10. Ann on June 6th, 2013 4:13 pm

    What does “tongril” mean?

    Kawawa naman si Pol Medina kung magkaka-lawsuit siya. E may grain of truth naman ‘yung isinulat niya.

  11. jmore on June 6th, 2013 4:30 pm

    cguro ngmumukhang pera n rin sila..lawsuits involves money if they will pursue in legal matters, if the pdi will just give in to the demands of st scho. and maybe a free ads to the newspaper for that school?

  12. bamboo on June 6th, 2013 4:37 pm

    “Another issue: Why is St. Scholastica admin protesting?”

    I think it is clear in St. Scho’s letter – they are protesting the fact that their school was singled out among all-girls schools in the country. While it is true that homosexual relationships do happen, singling out the school and generalizing that “all” magagandang kulasa have a girlfriend, have an adverse effect on the reputation of the institution, as well as the parents and students of the school. I think Pol made a mistake and he should man up to it. Nothing wrong with that.

  13. Sheehan on June 6th, 2013 4:44 pm

    One Sentence: It doesn’t HAVE or NEED to publicly use ST. SCHO’s NAME.

  14. Dennis on June 6th, 2013 5:13 pm

    if you ask me, stop calling for the reinstatement of pugad baboy. The Inquirer does not deserve to have a comic strip of pugad baboy’s caliber if they make poor editorial decisions plus easily caves in to demands from certain sectors.

  15. Brenda Singson on June 6th, 2013 5:23 pm

    it’s the yellow army attacking, IMO > Cory is an alumnae http://www.coryaquino.ph/index.php/whatsnew/

  16. Bodd on June 6th, 2013 6:02 pm

    The issues:
    Pol Medina wrote a satirical comic strip. Nothing wrong.
    Pol Medina singled out St Scho. Question mark.
    St. Scho complaining. Nothing wrong, it’s their right
    PDI firing Pol. Wrong
    Author analyzing issues on PDI. Very good.
    Author’s motivation driven by position on LGBT. Readers’ judgment.

  17. LGBT News! | Pol Medina Jr. smells ‘consPIGracy’ over pullout of ‘Pugad Baboy’ comic strip – GMA News on June 6th, 2013 6:12 pm

    […] Filipinos reacted to the news involving Medina. Cartoonist Gerry Alanguilan questioned the threat of a lawsuit against the Inquirer, noting that Medina was “only […]

  18. Christelke on June 6th, 2013 6:23 pm

    I’m not in favor of Pol being fired and with Inquirer not sharing with Pol the responsibility of publishing the comic strip. But I think it’s only right for St. Scho admin to protest. While I agree that there’s nothing wrong with lesbian/gay relationships, the last frame of Pol’s controversial comic strip insinuates that ALL girls in St. Scho have girlfriends and that the nuns themselves are also lesbians.
    I studied in St. Scho and I know that the percentage of lesbians, while they exist, are few.
    It is just right for the St. Scho admin to protect the reputation of non-lesbian students studying in the school. And why single out St. Scho? There are a lot of catholic girl schools and they can’t deny that their students are all straight. Now, nuns are supposed to be forgiving, so why didn’t Inquirer just issue a public apology to St. Scho rather than fire Pol?

  19. Willie Dungca on June 6th, 2013 7:19 pm

    Pugad Baboy is my favorite. In fact when I was in the US, my family to sent me PB comic books and I enjoyed reading them. I don’t think Pol deserves to be fired although he was at fault when he mentioned St. Scholastica’s College in the strip. The Philippine Daily Inquirer should have just asked Pol to apologize to SSC for his act.

  20. Cato Dumlao on June 6th, 2013 7:21 pm

    Para po sa’kin kawalan po ng respeto ‘yong sinabing “Di kaya tongril din ‘yung mga madre?” Kung si Jessica Soho nga ho na isang kagalang-galang na newscaster alam po natin na hindi dapat kinakasangkapan sa magagaspang na biro sa tingin co gano’n din po ang mga inosenteng alagad ng simbahan.

  21. N on June 6th, 2013 7:32 pm

    the local comic strips in broadsheets are not only for entertainment purposes, it also injects social commentary about the latest issues. if the censorship and bigotry of religion diminishes the relevance of the present issues and creative expression of the artists, we are still living under the medieval stance of religion. while other countries are liberated in their stance in sexual orientation and religion, we are still under the strict conservative belt which will choke us in the future.

    the creativity of presenting social issues and problems, injecting with humor in a comic strip form makes this format enduring.

    i’d hate to see people hating each other over their own interpretation
    of what they aren’t smart enough to understand.

    we may be over-sensitive about subjects about nationality, religion or sexual orientation but we must be enlightened that these things are happening today.

  22. Lorelei on June 6th, 2013 7:36 pm

    I believe that one of the reasons why the St. Scho nuns are fuming mad is because St. Scho has been singled out. I completely understand.

    I am a fan of Pol Medina Jr. I adore him! Even though I am a product of an all-girls catholic school, I totally get Pol’s humor in that particular controversial strip.

    To PDI, please, own up to your mistakes naman. Sunod-sunod na mga sablay niyo. Nag-aapologize nga pero sa tono ng pag-apologize niyo, parang simple lang yung epekto nung mga sablay niyo. Naturingang national newspaper, tutulog-tulog mga tao niyo. I think, you need more sweets and coffee in your office para hindi na sila antukin.

    Don’t punish Pol for what the “shunga” people under your wing overlooked. Kaya nga may editors, di ba? Those who overlooked should be fired, punished, or maybe send them back to training with the OJTs.

  23. Auggie on June 6th, 2013 8:13 pm

    An egregious example of CLERICO-FACISM Gerry? Anyway, Pol need not go back to PDI. Manila Standard Today, Daily Tribune, Manila Times,Manila Bulletin would welcome him…

  24. Yo San Jose on June 6th, 2013 8:17 pm

    Marami talagang ganung practices sa iba’t ibang all girl schools, pero yung kinukunsinti mejo mahirap patunayan yun. Accepted kc maghold hands ang mga babae dito at magbezo sa cheeks, wala naman akong alam na pinapanood ng mga madre ang mga pda ng mga papansin mga ganun. Kung talagang jowa kayo kailangan bang magcreate ng fuss para lang patunayan na free kayo?
    As to Pol Medina getting fired over this, I’m 100% sure na hindi ito ang nakadocument na reason. Mailap ang hustisya kahit sa Pugad baboy.

  25. Joonee on June 6th, 2013 8:30 pm

    You can’t really help but think that there is that great force at work here. And I am not talking about any supernatural force.

    The timing was too perfect and based on Pol’s story. This was published months ago with no such reaction from the school or anyone for that matter. Why would PDI republish an old strip, then all of a sudden these turn of events happen? Even the school’s official response was dated just recently. And of all things at the time he was pro active with his Marcos remarks

  26. Joy Margate lee on June 6th, 2013 8:35 pm

    My brother has a complete collection of his comic books…He was devastated by this very surprising move of PDI caving in to the pressure of the”Holy One” Pol Medina was good just as he was bad..But it ain’t truth the Mantra of those who are willing to stick their neck out in Line?

  27. Brenda Singson on June 6th, 2013 9:22 pm

    I am sad that PDI editor didnt defend to back up Pol. It was remiss on their part to publish what was rejected initially.

    From GmaNewsonline

    “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 statement read.

    Medina also said that the comic strip that eventually became controversial had already been published before, but did not receive flak the first time.

  28. jill alvarez on June 6th, 2013 9:29 pm

    PMJR merely stated here that something like this is happening right under the school administration’s/ nuns’ nose. hindi naman kasalanan ni PMJR kung i-tackle nya as joke mga totoong nangyayari sa pilipinas, kaya nga sya nasa linya ng comics eh. hindi naman ito pambabastos mga gay/lesbian eh, binabatikos lang nya ang stand ng simbahan, in this case yung administration ng school, tungkol sa isyu na ito. kinokontra ng mga pari, madre, kung anu-anong religious groups ang gay/lesbian community pero sa sarili nilang bakuran pala eh hindi nila kayang ayusin.

    c’mon PDI, hindi enough na reason ito to sack PMJR.

  29. Mark Ekaf on June 6th, 2013 9:54 pm

    Did anyone read SSC’s letter? Was that official? I guess their editor should be fired too. My gadz! If that’s what passes as good writing at SSC… then they have no business running a learning institution.

  30. heren alto on June 6th, 2013 10:05 pm

    Pol Medina is simply saying the truth. My daughter was shocked in her first year at St. Scholastica, to find so many girl couples exhibiting PDA ( public display of affection) It’s an open thing. All along I thought the school is simply liberal.

    Pol Medina is in hot waters, because he singled out St. Scholastica while it’s happening in other exclusive girls school as well.

  31. arturo garcia on June 6th, 2013 10:54 pm

    What can you expect of the landlord Prietos who own the PDI? They will always sacrifice small artist like Pol Medina and the baboys to ingratiate their fellow landlords like the Catholic schools like St Schos Kulasas.

    And that is the run of life in the tuwid na daan ng Pilipinas. panay pagkukunwari.

  32. JOSH on June 6th, 2013 11:14 pm

    Ang nakakainis para sa kin ang hindi pag take-up ng responsibility ng Inquirer at parang lahat binato na lang kay Sir Pol.

    As for the strip, di ko alam kung kelangan pang palalain ang issue… naiintindihan ko kung magreklamo/magdefend ang St. Scho para dun pero kelangan pa bang dibdibin to the point na kelangan mangyari ang ganitong bagay??

    Isa lang alam ko.. alam naman natin na satirical ang mga strip ni Sir Pol. Matik na yun! You just take it! Kung mapipikon ka, talo ka! >=|

  33. Sigfreid Barros-Sanchez on June 7th, 2013 1:03 am

    Philippine Daily Inquirer is being run nowadays by the Romualdezes. The Prietos are Romualdezes. Same as other newspapers like People’s Journal and People’s Tonight. There is also a rumor that one of the major TV networks is owned by the Marcoses and those sitting in power are just dummies. You need to research on your TV network history to find out which TV station it is. Pol is a victim of politicking in the journalism field. I hope he finds a new and suitable home soon. Or else, wage his battle on the web where people tend to look nowadays better than buying a copy of PDI.

  34. James Felizardo on June 7th, 2013 2:00 am

    I sincerely believe the issue here is singling out the Catholic Church and St. Scho while there are also a lot of other exclusive girls schools that have girl-lesbian relationships. I respect Pol’s cartoons and he may surely wasnt aware the negative reaction would be this big (hence his apology to St. Scho). Kaya nga may Editors at Publishers eh sila ang last line of defense againsts mistakes like Pol’s. Ang nakakainis dito, public firing ang ginawa kay Pol samantalang private firing ang gawin sa editor para di maging kahiya-hiya. Shame on you PDI top honchos. Di naman nakakawala ng pagkalalake ang pag-amin sa pagkakamali. May panahon pa para makarecover. Saludo pa rin ako sa dyaryo nyo kaya pagpagin nyo naman ang iilang bulok dyan para di madamay ang mas nakararaming kagalang-galang na PDI editorial staff.

  35. JL on June 7th, 2013 3:55 am

    To anyone who thinks that this is an issue about religion, open your minds. You are blinded by your stand against it and you are over sensitive to the the point that you believe religion is the hand that fired medina.

    This is an issue about PDI publishing the strip. St. Scho has every right to protest which I believe is justified.

    PDI should share the responsibility.

  36. alltimefavekoangpb on June 7th, 2013 6:10 am

    so shocked when i found out about this news yesterday because lots of my friends love pb sooo much and how pol’s wit somehow opens us to what is actually happening in the society through his satirical humor…

    reality bites… there’s a truth to the content of the published comic strip thus the negative reaction… it exposed what is actually happening in the society which being a conservative nation, cannot accept such scenario.

    i agree that the editor/s should be punished as well… this comic strip would not have gone out if they did their job properly…

    suspension maybe will be a proper punishment but to fire him out right away is unacceptable to me at least.

    talented beings like pol deserves our support in whatever steps he will be taking next…

  37. steve pabalinas on June 7th, 2013 7:17 am

    Yeheey!!! this signals a new era of comics making it in prime time news!!! parang “boondocks” at ‘doonebury” na palaging narereport sa CNN!!

  38. Paul on June 7th, 2013 8:41 am

    Medyo foul nga yung comic strip na yan. Direct attack na yan sa isang section ng society. I can just imagine if Pol releases a comic strip attacking prophet Muhammad.

    A little sensitivity wouldnt hurt. The message from the said strip should only be talked about in private.

  39. kc cordero on June 7th, 2013 9:51 am

    tongril means lesbian or tomboy. hindi ko lang alam kung saan nag-originate ‘yung word, but been reading the word from some showbiz reporter’s column.
    i guess kung march pa ‘yung strip at hindi inilabas, ngayon lang nila naisipang gamitin nang mag-out na si charice.

  40. Michael Roma on June 7th, 2013 10:46 am

    Masakit ang katotohanan. I have dated several ‘kulasas’ in my prime and they have admitted to entering lesbian relationships either as the ‘dom’ or ‘fem’. So no big deal on this one.

  41. deniz reyes on June 7th, 2013 11:06 am

    is it any wonder that PDI will throw PM Jr. under the bus at the first hint of trouble?

    PDI is not the newspaper it was.

  42. Berdugo on June 7th, 2013 2:53 pm

    What is not being discussed here is the question of libel. The aggrieved party is obviously a specific institution or a group of people. PDI has probably reacted towards “suspension” because they are facing a possible lawsuit because there was a basis for it. Of course, it would still be determined by the court if there was truly a libel. Interesting thing about this was St. Scho was identified, and the intent of malice now can be debated, but it may mean a long-drawn litigation that could be a waste of time and money. Pol Medina made the mistake of being too specific, and malice cannot be discounted. Pugad Baboy is satire, but this cannot be a defense. The satirical content might be true, but the complainant might be able to prove malice, and thus win a libel case. To avoid this possibiity, PDI took away its involvement in the particular strip. I guess, you have to choose your battles and apparently the newspaper was not willing to endure it.

  43. John Go on June 7th, 2013 5:00 pm

    I’m from San Beda but this was not something Medina should be fired about. The truth is there are a lot of lesbians and homos in exclusive boys or girls schools my alma mater not excluded. Instead of feeling offended, the administrators of Catholic schools who preach Christian Doctrine should take action to address these deviant behavior or go co ed like other schools.

  44. Paul Garcia on June 8th, 2013 12:43 am

    Is Inquirer becoming the FOX news in the Philippines? If they do so, I will definitely NOT GOING TO READ INQUIRER ANYMORE!!!

  45. Paul Garcia on June 8th, 2013 12:45 am

    Jose Rizal was persecuted because of telling the truth. Benigno Aquino was imprisoned and persecuted because of the truths he said. Then now, Pol Medina’s turn? NO!!! Let’s wave the flag of Polgas ala STARKS! WE REMEMBER!

  46. Pol Medina Jr. resigns from the Philippine Daily Inquirer : KOMIKERO DOT COM on June 8th, 2013 7:05 pm

    […] Pol Medina Jr. Fired from Philippine Daily Inquirer for Controversial Pugad Baboy Strip (UPDATED!) […]

  47. pedro munasque sumaylo on June 10th, 2013 8:08 am

    What happen to the FEARLESS VIEW slogan of PDI…about the catholics school in the intire country not only the St. Scholastica you cannot erase the facts that what Pol Medina cited on his comic strip happened in your school.

  48. pedro munasque sumaylo on June 10th, 2013 8:17 am

    What happen to the FEARLESS VIEW slogan of PDI…about the catholics school in the intire country not only the St. Scholastica you cannot erase the facts that what Pol Medina cited on his comic strip happened in your school. Furthermore. I will stop reading PDI no sense already about reading a newspaper who did not live to its billing.

  49. Philippines news: Artists' group: 'Pugad Baboy' censorship a threat to freedom of expression | Pinas news library on June 11th, 2013 4:02 pm

    […] “It indicates that there is a certain amount of editorial control, and that there are still some strips that PDI feels perhaps the public cannot handle. But this strip about Lesbianism in Catholic schools was approved by PDI Editorial and was published in the newspaper. Any politically, or religiously charged strip will always gather controversy, and this one was no exception,” Alanguilan said on his blog. […]