UPDATED:Supreme Court stops GMA from conferring National Artist Awards

UPDATED: 4:41 p.m. August 25:

The Supreme Court has blocked the conferment of the National Artist Awards by President Gloria Arroyo to all seven nominees pending an investigation into various protests, reports GMANews.TV.

SC spokesperson Jose Midas Marquez said: ""The court decided to issue a status quo order and required the respondents to file comment. After they file the comment, the court would decide to call for an oral argument."

Named in the petition are President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, and the four nominees under question: Cecille Guidote Alvarez (theater), Magno Jose Carlo Caparas (visual arts and film), Jose Moreno (fashion design), and Francisco Mañosa (architecture). The three other nominees not under question are Lazaro Francisco (literature), Manuel Conde (film and broadcast) and Federico Aguilar Alcuaz (visual arts, painting, sculpture, and mixed media), reports GMANews.TV.

(Posted at 4:31 p.m. August 25):

Spot.ph has just received this yet-to-be-confirmed feed:

Good news! Supreme Court just issued status quo order on National Artist Award! Meanwhile, no awarding in Malacanang, no monetary release. Contending parties to submit positions for oral argument before the presence of the Supreme Court En Banc.

And on GMA7news's Twitter:

Supreme Court issues status quo order putting on hold confirmation of recently declared National Artists, including cash prizes & benefits.

Keep logged on to SPOT.ph for further developments in this story.

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