Senate panel may subpoena Mideo Cruz in CCP exhibit probe

The Senate education, arts, and culture committee may subpoena the artist responsible for the controversial artwork displayed in an exhibit at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

During Tuesday’s Senate inquiry into the CCP exhibit, Senate President Pro Tempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada asked the Senate education committee to subpoena artist Mideo Cruz for being absent at the beginning of the day’s hearing.

“If he doesn’t come during this hearing, then we will be compelled to issue a subpoena for him to come to the next hearing,” said Angara, chairman of the Senate panel, during the hearing.

The Senate hearing was ongoing as of posting time and Cruz has yet to arrive.

Present during the hearing were officials of the CCP, who were asked by Estrada, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, and Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicete Sotto III, to resign amid the controversy.

Also present were national artists for literature Dr. Francisco Sionil Jose and for visual arts Dr. Abdulmari Asia Mao, Cebu Archbishop Rev. Jose Palma, and UP College of Law dean Raul Pangalangan.

‘Challenging the mind’

In a television interview on Friday, Cruz sought forgiveness from people offended by his art, but insisted his inclination is to do projects that are aimed at challenging the mind.

“Humihingi ako ng paumanhin sa mga nasaktan. Pero hindi ako yung tao na nagpipinta ng magandang bulaklak o magandang tanawin. Ang mga ginagawa kong proyekto ay mga bagay na susundutin ng kaunti ang ating mga pag-i-isip,” Cruz said.

Cruz’s mixed media installation “Poleteismo” was seen as offensive by many, particularly for its juxtaposition of religious images with phallic symbols. — Kim Tan/RSJ, GMA News

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