Mideo Cruz snubs Senate probe, risks subpoena

By David Dizon, abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at Aug 16 2011 10:30 AM | Updated as of Aug 16 2011 10:00 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Mideo Cruz, the controversial artist who created art pieces that showed religious images with phallic symbols, was absent in the Senate committee inquiry on the controversial "Kulo" exhibit at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

The Senate secretary said she sent Cruz an invitation through e-mail last August 10 to attend the Senate inquiry today. She said Cruz acknowledged receipt of the invitation but did not say if he will attend.

She said Cruz no longer responded to e-mails or phone calls after August 10.

Sen. Edgardo Angara, chairman of the Senate committee on education, arts, and culture, said he will issue a subpoena for Cruz if he fails to show up to the hearing by 12 noon.

He also ordered the Senate secretary to invite resigned CCP director Karen Ocampo Flores to attend the next Senate hearing.

The Senate committee is investigating in aid of legislation the controversial "Kulo" exhibit at the CCP, which showed some of Cruz's art work. Some of the art work credited to Cruz include a Christ the King figure with rabbit ears and a crucifix with a penis.

The exhibit shocked various groups who labeled Cruz's art pieces "sacrilegious and blasphemous."

The CCP Board of Directors shut down the exhibit last week after the Board and Cruz started receiving threats.

At the start of Tuesday's hearing, Angara said the inquiry is not a trial but a venue "so we can listen and hear the views and opinions of anyone willing to give her view and comment on this very import and sensitive topic."