MANILA, Philippines – The Akap Bata party-list group on Friday pressed Malacanang Palace to “fast-track” the process of bestowing the National Artist award on comedy king Dolphy, now fighting for dear life after his 11th bout with pneumonia.
Akap-Bata Party list Secretary General Arlene Brosas said in a live interview with TV5’s “Good Morning Club” the so-called “technical requirements” that Palace officials had invoked in declining to intervene in the process can easily be accelerated because obviously there is universal support for giving the award to Dolphy. “We should give it to the man who made us laugh for decades.”
The party-list group’s call was joined by Migrante, the migrant workers’ support group, saying Dolphy had through the years made eased the loneliness of millions of Filipinos working abroad.
On Thursday night, director Eric Quizon, Dolphy’s son, said Dolphy opened one eye and improved a little after undergoing dialysis. He remained in critical condition, but the risk of organ failure had eased after his body was cleansed of toxins by dialysis. However, his platelet count was still low, and there was still internal bleeding somewhere.
The family thanked boxers from Elorde Gym for donating blood to Dolphy.
Meanwhile, he was placed under a “DNR” (Do not resuscitate) status, according to newspaper reports. This means that, as per agreement among his immediate family members, no artificial means will be resorted to in order to revive him in case his condition turns for the worse again.
Brosas, meanwhile, told “Good Morning Club” that their group visited Dolphy at the Makati Medical Center at 10 pm Thursday. They were met by Ronnie and Rolly Quizon, who received the letters of affection and wishes for good recovery, and flowers they brought from many people.
“We are petitioning na dapat ay maging national artist natin si Dolphy. Actually, the president has the power to do that. We believe sa Akap-Bata na kayang gawin yun, na dapat ideclare natin, tayo mismo even ng sambayanang Pilipino na dapat ideklara si Dolphy na siya ay maging National Artist dahil deka-dekada naman niya tayong pinatawa ‘no. Siya ay kilala ng bawat pamilya, bawat bahay. Wala nga yatang hindi nakakakilala kay Dolphy eh sa mga pamilyang Pilipino ngayon,” said Brosas.
Asked to comment on Malacanang’s explanation that it did not wish to infringe on the work of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) so as not to politicize the process of naming National Artists, Brosas said: “Napaka-teknikal nung mga sinasabi na ganun. Samantalang, nag-cocomply naman ang lahat ng requisite na kailangan natin dun sa paghanap natin ng National Artist. Si Dolphy pa yung bibigyan ng ganung requisite?
“Sa totoo lang marami tayong finafast-track sa ating lipunan, sa ating gobyerno. Bakit itong usapin na to hindi maibigay-bigay sakanya? Sa totoo lang’no malaking bagay para sa atin as a nation sa sambayanang Pilipino na bigyan natin siya ng award kasi deka-dekada: radyo, TV, teatro, lahat nagawa ni Mang Dolphy.
“Ang kagandahan sa pagiging National Artist, ang mga bata, ang mga susunod na henerasyon natin ay makikilala siya at maipagmamalaki siya bilang artista ng sambayanan natin. Yun po yung mahalaga sa amin sa Akap-Bata.”
Brosas also stressed Dolphy’s constant support for the welfare of children and the youth, especially with his Dolphy Aid Foundation which gives scholarships to college students at the STI. He has also constantly helped fellow struggling artists.
Dolphy, she added, is adored by many women—mothers regaled by his spoof on mundane situations in the Filipino home in his long-running “John en Marsha” series, and movies that blend laughter with serious insights into the human condition like “Facifica Falaypay”.