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Social media group files case vs. Pura Luka Vega over 'Ama Namin' performance

By NICK GARCIA Published Oct 24, 2023 12:24 pm

A social media group filed a criminal complaint against drag artist Pura Luka Vega, born Amadeus Fernando Pagente, for their controversial Ama Namin performance.

The KSMBPI or Kapisanan ng Social Media Broadcasters ng Pilipinas Inc. accused Pagente of violating the Revised Penal Code (RPC)’s Article 133, or “offending the religious feelings,” and Article 201, or “immoral doctrines, obscene publications and exhibitions, and indecent shows”—in relation to the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

In its 17-page complaint, the KSMBPI cited six videos that Pagente uploaded on their TikTok account @puralukavega between July 2021 and June 2023. In the videos, it said, Pagente is "patently seen to be mimicking and mocking 'Jesus', 'Jesus Christ' or 'Jesus of Nazareth', the central figure of Christianity.”

"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,” the complaint read.

The KSMBPI noted the videos “seriously lack any literary, artistic, political or scientific value,” as they 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[.]”

Pagente was arrested on Oct. 4 in relation to a case filed by the Hijos de Nazareno, which represents devotees of the Black Nazarene, for violating Article 201 of the RPC and the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

They were released on Oct. 7 after posting bail worth P72,000.

The Philippines for Jesus Movement, a Christian group coalition, also filed a case against them.

Pagente has been in the headlines since July after being seen at a bar performing a punk rock version of Ama Namin, the central prayer of the Catholic Church.

Many netizens took the drag artist to task, with some calling it "offensive" and "blasphemous."

They have been declared persona non grata over time in 12 Philippine municipalities, namely, General Santos City; Floridablanca, Pampanga; Laguna; City of Manila; Bukidnon Province; Toboso, Negros Occidental; Nueva Ecija; Cebu City; Cagayan De Oro City; Occidental Mindoro; Dinagat Islands; and Coron, Palawan.

To be declared as persona non grata means they’re no longer welcome in these places, but it doesn't mean they’ll be prevented or arrested while visiting.