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Philippine Comic Strip Pulled Out Over Lesbian Joke

Long-running "Pugad Baboy" was suspended from Philippine Daily Inquirer after publishing a strip that tackles homosexuality and the Roman Catholic Church.

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Hugely popular in the Philippines, "Pugad Baboy" (Pig's Nest) has been showcasing general sentiments on Filipino politics, culture, and society since it first appeared in Philippine Daily Inquirer on May 18, 1988.

The characters, most of whom are obese, talked about pop culture...

DAGUL: I'm suffering from LSS, dude...

POLGAS: On what song?

DAGUL: Not Last Song Syndrome, it's Last Scene Syndrome. I could not get the sight of Anne Hathaway riding the Bat-Cycle out of my mind.


DEBBIE: You want another one?

DAGUL: Sheesh out of my mind naw!

Political issues...

POLGAS: The Roman Catholic Church is said to be conducting acts of civil disobedience because President Aquino is pushing for Reproductive Health Bill.

POLGAS: Shouldn't they waste their time on punishing priests accused of molesting minors?

TOMAS: Those are just foreign priests. I don't believe there are such priests in the Philippines.

PALTIK: Dad, I resigned from being an altar boy, just like what you said.

However, Philippine Daily Inquirer has suspended Pugad Baboy from its publication after this strip appeared on the June 4, 2013 issue.

COLEEN: You Christians are a bunch of hypocrites.

TINY: Why so?

COLEEN: You hate gays and lesbians but your sacred Catholic all-girls schools, run by nuns nonetheless, condone its students' lesbian behavior.

TINY: You're right! On St. Scholastica's College, you wouldn't see a beautiful Scholastican without a girlfriend...

(ANONYMOUS, BEARDED CHARACTER): Maybe the nuns themselves are lesbians, too?

This comes after St. Scholastica's College tweeted a statement that threatens to sue PDI.

"The administration is seeking an audience with the person in charge of the Comic Relief Section and the cartoonist of Pugad Baboy, Mr. Medina...

If we will not hear from PDI this week, the lawsuit will be filed. If the dialogue will be arranged, we will be inviting adminsitrators, faculty and students who care about this issue to join us. The entire Sisters community will be present."

PDI, led by its publisher Raul C. Pangalangan, has released an apology to SCC.

Twitter: @inquirerdotnet

"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."

The broadsheet has also dismissed rumors that it has fired Medina.

‘‘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.’’

At first, Medina suspected a "consPIGracy."

"If you zoom in on that particular strip that got me fired, you'll see that the strip first appeared in MARCH. No reaction then," Medina wrote on his Facebook page, adding that strip was reissued after Pugad Baboy released a series of comic strips that criticized Filipinos who are praising former president Ferdinand Marcos.

But this morning (June 7, local time), Medina has stated that he has apologized "on air" to SCC the night before.

View this video on YouTube

Medina admitted that he “overstepped the threshold of good taste,” adding that “I specified a school and used the word ‘condone’.”

He also clarified his earlier statement about the alleged offensive strip was a reissue, but was actually rejected beforehand, yet it was saved in an "art bank" for archiving.

The comic creator also said in the interview that he takes full responsibility for his actions, saying: "It’s like making a sex tape. If you don’t make one, there’ll be nothing to spread."

In the meantime, Medina has been posting his latest Pugad Baboy strips on Facebook while his indefinite suspension is in effect.

POLGAS: Because of TV5 reporter Michelle Mediana's beauty, the tension between the Philippines and Taiwan has been defused.

POLGAS: We should send Pia Gutierrez, Gretchen Malalad, Zen Hernandez, Phoemela Baranda, Maki Pulido, and Pinky Webb, over to China.

POLGAS: And then, we should send Marie Lozano, Pia Arcangel, Bianca Gonzales, Vicky Morales, Marisol Abdurahman, and Jessica Soho, to Sabah. Yes, Vice Ganda. Jessica Soho.

POLGAS: And if ever we have a dispute with the United States, we should send over to Los Angeles the likes of Atom Araullo, Alex Santos, Julius Babao, Jiggy Manicad, Jason Webb, and Ban Tulfo... AAAY!

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