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Another case filed against Pura Luka Vega; complainant claims videos lack literary, artistic, political or scientific value

Kapisanan ng Social Media Broadcasters ng Pilipinas Inc. filed a criminal complaint against drag performer Pura Luka Vega in connection to their singing a punk rock remix version of “Ama Namin” (The Lord’s Prayer) while in a costume resembling the Black Nazarene.

Screenshot from the Facebook page of Amadeus Pagente

Religion trumps freedom of expression?

Another group filed a criminal complaint against drag performer Pura Luka Vega (name assigned at birth: Amadeus Fernando Pagente) in connection to their drag performance singing a punk rock remix version of “Ama Namin” (The Lord’s Prayer) while in a costume resembling the Black Nazarene.

This time, a social media group that calls itself as the Kapisanan ng Social Media Broadcasters ng Pilipinas Inc. (KSMBPI), led by lawyer Leo Olarte, lodged a 17-page complaint that accused the drag performer of violating the Revised Penal Code provisions on “offending religious feelings” (Article 133) and “immoral doctrines, obscene publications and exhibitions, and indecent shows” (Article 201) in relation to Republic Act 10175 (Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012).

Particularly focusing on six videos uploaded in Pagente’s TikTok account between July 2021 and June 27, the complaint stated that Pagente is “patently seen to be mimicking and mocking ‘Jesus’, ‘Jesus Christ’ or ‘Jesus of Nazareth’, the central figure of Christianity”. As such, “it is dominantly apparent that respondent willfully and knowingly exhibited immoral or indecent scenes or actions that are seriously and notoriously offensive to religious feelings and/or religion.”

KSMBPI also seemed to position itself as an arbiter of artistic taste, adding that Pagente’s TikTok videos “seriously lack any literary, artistic, political or scientific value. The actions committed by respondent in his videos were not used for the sake of satisfying artistic tastes but rather for people desirous of fulfilling their morbid curiosity and taste, and lust, and for love for excitement including the youth who because of their immaturity are not in a position to resist and shield themselves from the ill and perverting effects of these videos.”

This is not the first case filed against the drag performer related to the “Ama Namin” videos. Earlier, on October 4, they were arrested related to the case filed by the Hijos del Nazareno-Central.

Evangelical group Philippines for Jesus Movement also filed a complaint against Pagente.

Pagente is out on a ₱72,000 bail set by Manila RTC Branch 36 acting presiding Judge Czarina Encarnacion Lamonte-Villanueva.

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