Nas Academy belies NCIP findings on Whang-Od contract


Posted at Aug 30 2021 03:21 PM | Updated as of Aug 30 2021 03:54 PM

Whang-Od. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA -- Nas Academy is standing by its original statement that the online learning platform's contract with traditional tattoo artist Whang-Od is legitimate, in response to the findings of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).

Over the weekend, NCIP found that Whang-Od was not made aware of any contract, which was described as "grossly onerous."

In a Facebook post on Monday, Nas Academy said it is "not true" that Whang-Od's consent was not obtained.

The online learning platform founded by Nuseir Yassin, more popularly known as Nas Daily, said it tapped a local production company to comply with all the requirements.

It added that that contract was presented and translated to Whang-Od by her niece, Estela Baydon Palangdao, in the presence of the traditional tattoo artist's family and tribe members.

"As shown in a portion of the video which we released, you can see that Whang-Od affixed her thumbprint on the contract, only after the contents had been explained to her by the local Filipino production team with the help of Estela. It was only after the permission was granted by the family that the filming started," the statement read.

Nas Academy also reiterated that Whang-Od will receive "shared revenue from the income generated from the project."

It added that the terms of the traditional tattoo artist's contract are "standard for all Nas Academy agreements."

"We were ready to cooperate with the regional office of the NCIP in its investigation. But Nas Academy was not given the chance to explain its side before arriving at a conclusion and releasing a statement. This is not how a fair investigation is held. Both sides must be heard to reach a fair and informed conclusion," it said.


Aside from Whang-Od, other Filipino personalities featured in Nas Academy include Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, Dubai-based fashion designer Michael Cinco, food content creator Erwan Heussaff, and singer Moira dela Torre.

Gray's management has agreed with Nas Academy to stop accepting new applicants for the beauty queen's course on the platform until the issue of Whang-Od is resolved. 

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