Lucy Torres-Gomez Defends Her NCCA PictorialLucy Torres-Gomez said she was chosen as a "celebrity endorser" for the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and that it was not a show of gratitude by President Benigno Aquino III for her support during his campaign.
This November, controversy struck the NCCA when it posted photos of celebrities with the words "NCCA Ambassadors" on the lower-left corner. According to the gallery the nine celebrity ambassadors were Boy Abunda for arts, Sarah Geronimo for music, Piolo Pascual for culture, Dingdong Dantes for youth, Ogie Alcasid for heritage, Venus Rah for the Dayaw indigenous people, Jericho Rosales for the Taoid indigenous people, Shamcey Supsup for architecture and allied arts and Lucy for dance.
The NCAA, a government body tasked to make policies for the country's culture and the arts, is directly under the Office of the President. It is currently headed by Felipe de Leon Jr.
The upload of the gallery was widely criticized by the public as they saw it as the President's way of paying back the celebrities who helped him in his post. These celebrities were given the post whether they are deserving or not.
But the NCCA spokesperson, Rene Napenas, clarified the President has nothing to do with choosing the artists. He added that the ambassadors were chosen by the commission throughout the years, starting from 2009 when Mr. Aquino was still a senator and not the president.
But asked about her ambassadorship, Lucy said she wasn't aware of that and no one from NCCA approached her about it.
The only thing that the congresswoman can remember was doing a pictorial for the commission back in 2010 with Ogie. That pictorial was done in Intramuros.
"I really don't think the NCCA is thinking of us as ambassadors. They're thinking of us as endorsers, as celebrities, as stars who will promote NCCA. Parang ang dating sa akin, ang understanding ko, is to create awareness that there is an NCCA."
Lucy said she doesn't know anything about NCCA and how it is being run, or even about its principles. She can only endorse some of its projects and plans but that's about it.
Asked further about the pictorial, Lucy said she didn't do it to promote dance since she's just doing it as a hobby.
She knows she is not the right person to be the ambassador of dance for NCCA. Somebody like Lisa Macuja would be the perfect person for the job.
"I haven't really done what needs to be done for dance. I just do ballroom and, like I said, for me it's just a hobby."