Malacanang explained that Nora Aunor was not proclaimed as a National Artist in order to spare her from "emotional and psychological torment."
On October 24, President Rodrigo Duterte conferred National Artist awards to seven personalities: Larry Alcala (National Artist for Visual Arts), Amelia Lapeña Bonifacio (National Artist for Theater), Ryan Cayabyab (National Artist for Music), Francisco "Bobby" Mañosa (National Artist for Architecture), Resil Mojares (National Artist for Literature), Ramon Muzones (National Artist for Literature), and Kidlat Tahimik (National Artist for Cinema).
Presidential spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo pointed out that the 65-year-old Superstar could still be named National Artist in the future since she is "still young."
"In God’s perfect time, we are optimistic that she will be proclaimed as a National Artist. Her non-inclusion does not diminish her iconic stature as the country’s Superstar and her significant contributions to film, theater, television and music industries," Panelo was quoted as saying by GMA News during the October 25 Palace press briefing.
"Her non-inclusion is to spare Ms. Nora Aunor from the emotional and psychological torment coming from the barrage of mixed reactions the award will bring."
Panelo also described Nora as the "crowned people's artist."
He said, "Her phenomenal rise to movie and musical stardom that counted a generation of shrieking and adoring fans unparalleled in the movie and music industry is a walking testament to her mesmerizing artistry and singing voice and the people’s acceptance. She truly is the crowned people’s artist."