Monday, March 28, 2011

Rico J. Puno an �Unwelcome Persona� in Cebu

Rico J. Puno is known for his jokes and double entendres, especially during live performances, but it seems this sort of thing would not fly with some Cebuanos. As such, two provincial board members have sponsored a resolution to have Puno declared an �unwelcome persona� in Cebu.

In a report by Bomboradyo on March 26, Puno apparently insulted Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia during his performance at the opening of a hotel in Mandaue City, a gathering attended by politicians and other well-respected personalities - among them Senators Gringo Honasan, Vicente Sotto III and Miguel Zubiri. Prior to his number, Puno reportedly went up to Gov. Garcia and was quoted to have said, �You�re the most beautiful governor in the Philippines.� But followed by a question, intended as a joke, on who is the lady Governor's doctor, is it Dr. Vicky Belo or Dr. Pie Calayan?

This was viewed insulting by some of those present, which led to Provincial Board members Arleigh Sitoy, of Cebu�s 6th district, and Jose Ribomapil Holganza, Jr. to file a resolution to declare Puno as �persona non-grata,� as noted in Bomboradyo�s report.

In a March 27 article published on local paper, Sun Star Cebu, Sitoy and Holganza said Puno made a �downright disparaging remark� and, thus, disrespecting the Governor.

Although the one-page resolution did not specify what Puno had done, Sitoy nevertheless told Sun Star that Puno was �his usual comedic self� but that he should have known better - citing that he, too, was once an elected public official.

According to their proposed resolution, which the provincial board deliberated yesterday, Monday, March 28, "The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Cebu acknowledges the fact that beyond political lines and affiliations is the honor and respect that must be accorded at all times to the office of the Governor of the Province of Cebu.

In another article published on Sun Star Cebu, also dated March 27, a writer - who admitted to being a stand-up comic himself - noted, �It is unfortunate and highly unethical for a veteran entertainer to humiliate another person, whether intentional or not, just to please his or her fans, or the audience.

A performer doesn�t have to comment on somebody�s physical attributes or defects, as the case may be, because doing so would only embarrass the butt of the joke, depending on how the praise or criticism is being delivered�

To the writer, Puno committed what he called a �cardinal sin� as an artist and, as his article said, he �should also be embarrassed for doing it because the crowd was booing him instead of applauding him.� He pointed out that it was a �mistake that should be made as basis not invite him [Puno] again to perform in Cebu.�

Note that this is not the first time Cebu had already declared someone persona non-grata in recent months. Just last September, Cebu�s vice mayor�s league declared former Miss Universe Gloria Diaz as such after, as the paper reports, �she reportedly made disparaging remarks about the Cebuano�s ability to speak Tagalog or English.� Diaz refuted disparaging the Cebuanos, saying she was misunderstood.

Meanwhile, Puno has yet to comment on this resolution against him.

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