Director Nick Lizaso officially elected NCCA chair

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MANILA, Philippines – Television director Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso has been officially elected as the chair of the National Commission for the Culture and Arts (NCCA), its board confirmed in a statement.

NCCA’s Public Affairs and Information Office said on Thursday that Lizaso was elected during a board meeting held on Thursday.

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He will serve a term until 2020 to 2022.

“The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) welcomes its new chairman, Mr. Arsenio ‘Nick’ Lizaso during the recent Board Meeting held on January 16, 2020. Lizaso will be leading Commission as Chairman, serving for the term 2020 until 2022,” NCCA said.

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The election of Lizaso — who also heads the Cultural Center of the Philippines — was reported as early as December 2019, after Malacañang documents showed that he was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte.  However, the NCCA board said that no official election has taken place back then.

While some consider Lizaso’s appointment to NCCA a good sign, given his vision in handling CCP, other cultural observers believe otherwise.  In a Facebook post, art critic and writer Katrina Stuart Santiago claimed that Lizaso is the “worst possible person” to head the country’s cultural agency.

Santiago also noted Lizaso’s closeness to known art patron and former first lady Imelda Marcos, who was supposedly invited by him and former Miss Universe Margie Moran for lavish dinner at the CCP.

Anti-graft court Sandiganbayan recently declared 800 paintings in possession of the Marcoses as part of ill-gotten wealth, and ordered the relatives of former president Ferdinand Marcos to either return or pinpoint the location of the artworks.

Imelda Marcos is also out on bail while the final verdict of her graft cases at the Sandiganbayan is pending.  She was convicted last December 2018 for transferring money to foreign accounts while holding various government posts.

“#NickLizaso, the worst possible person to become head of ANY cultural agency, with no credibility and no credentials, and I said so when he gunned for the Cultural Center of the Philippines, is now Chairperson of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. #CulturalCrisis,” Santiago said in her post.

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#NickLizaso, the worst possible person to become head of ANY cultural agency, with no credibility and no credentials,…

Posted by Katrina Stuart Santiago on Thursday, January 16, 2020

READ: Sandiganbayan declares over 800 Marcoses-owned artworks as ill-gotten 

READ: Lizaso: Action man for the arts

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