MANILA - A Palace official on Wednesday backed up President Aquino's decision not to proclaim film superstar Nora Aunor a National Artist because of her past drug conviction.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda disputed claims Aunor is not an illegal drugs convict.
"By the way, Noranian ako. I think si Ms. Nora Aunor pleaded guilty. Because she pled guilty, nag-deferred entry of judgment. Sa batas ng Amerika, merong ganung proseso na hindi tulad sa atin sa Pilipinas 'pag dito nangyari 'yan, nag-plead ka guilty, you will be - may karampatang parusa na," he said.
"Sa Amerika, nag-plead siya ng guilty, tapos nagkaroon ng deferred entry of judgment provided that you undergo rehab. Iyon po iyong nangyari doon sa situation ni Ms. Nora Aunor."
Lacierda again reiterated President Aquino's reasons not to name Aunor as National Artist because of her past with illegal drugs.
"I think the overall purpose really of the President is iyong sinabi niya kahapon. What is the message I am saying if, on one hand, I am against drug use and this will happen? I suppose, iba iyong pananaw niya sa iba," he said.
Atty. Claire Espina earlier clarified that Aunor did not have a drug conviction in America, adding that there was no judgment in her case.
“Nora Aunor was never convicted. This is not accurate nor is it factual. There was a deferred judgment, which means there is no conviction because there is no judgment,” she said.
In 2005, Aunor was arrested at Los Angeles Airport when drug paraphernalia were discovered in a bag with her name.
According to Espina, the bag was not even packed by the actress herself.
Aunor was traveling with four companions when she was detained. After facing the charges in a Los Angeles court, Aunor completed a diversion program and the case was dismissed in 2007.