MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Controversial drag artist Pura Luka Vega was apprehended by the Manila Police District on Wednesday, October 4.
The arrest follows closely after an ongoing legal battle surrounding Vega’s notorious “Ama Namin” remix performance. Such performance ignited a firestorm of criticism from religious groups and lawmakers.
According to Manila Police District Spokesperson Philipp Ines, the arrest was made following the issuance of an arrest warrant. The arrest warrant alleges violations of Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code. As amended by Presidential Decrees 960 and 969, it pertains to “immoral doctrines, obscene publications and exhibitions, and indecent shows.”
Additionally, Vega faces charges under Section 6 of Republic Act 10175 (RA 10175), or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, making this a complex and multifaceted legal case.
The roots of this legal predicament trace back to the aftermath of Vega’s “Ama Namin” remix performance. The performance sparked outrage particularly among devotees of the Black Nazarene led by the Hijos del Nazareno.
As of the time of this writing, Pura Luka Vega remains in custody at Manila Police Station 3 in Sta. Cruz. However, while they have set a bail amount of P72,000 for their release, they have not disclosed further details regarding the case.
Moreover, the controversy surrounding Pura Luka Vega has extended beyond legal battles. Prior to this, Vega has faced declarations of persona non grata in a total of 11 localities across the Philippines.
The wave of disapproval began with Cebu City Council’s decision on August 16, followed by Floridablanca, Pampanga, on July 17. General Santos City declared Vega unwelcome on July 18, and Toboso, Negros Occidental, joined in on August 1.
Similarly, the provinces of Bukidnon and Dinagat Islands declared Pura Luka Vega as persona non grata on August 8.
Moreover, the city of Manila unanimously passed a similar resolution on August 9.
Furthermore, Cagayan de Oro joined the list on August 14, with Nueva Ecija, Laguna, and Occidental Mindoro doing the same in subsequent days.
The public debate over the boundaries of artistic expression and the respect for religious beliefs continues to intensify in light of these widespread declarations of persona non grata and Vega’s recent legal troubles.