After bail release, drag queens call for Pura Luka Vega acquittal at fundraiser

October 9, 2023 - 5:11 PM
Photo of Pura Luka Vega in front of the Department of Justice Hall in Quezon City (puralukavega/Instagram)

Calls to acquit embattled drag queen Pura Luka Vega were made online after she was released from police custody last Sunday.

The Manila Police District (MPD) reported that Pura was released from the Santa Cruz Police Station at 2 p.m. after posting bail.

The season one “Drag Den” performer was arrested last week in connection to a criminal complaint filed by the Hijos Del Nazareno Central, a group representing devotees of the Black Nazarene in the Philippines.

The recommended bail for her alleged violations was P72,000.

READ: Pura Luka Vega out on bail after receiving over P550K in donation 

Pura was placed under scrutiny after a video of her performance of a remix of “Ama Namin” (Our Father) at a local bar went viral.

RELATED: ‘Drag is not a crime’: Drag queens rally behind Pura Luka Vega following arrest

Rallying via a hashtag

After Pura was released on bail, Naia Black, the country’s first “Drag Den” winner, other personalities and members of the LGBTQIA community called for Pura’s acquittal through the hashtag #AcquitPuraLukaVega.

In a statement, Naia thanked the people who donated as a show of support to Pura.

“We thank everyone who supported and continuously supports Luka. However, our fight is not over. This is just the start of our battle against anti-rights forces whose sole mission is to discriminate, oppress, and silence queer people,” the young drag queen said with the hashtag #AcquitPuraLukaVega.

Naia also used the hashtag in leading the fundraising drag event called “NKKLK: A Fundraising Show for Pura Luka Vega.”

The event gathered drag queens of “Drag Den” and “Drag Race Philippines”, along with other local drag artists, to raise more funds for Pura’s legal support. It was held last Sunday, October 8, at the Brooklyn Warehouse Manila in Manila City.

Photos and videos of performances during this event were later uploaded on the X app. Several drag queens also joined in solidarity to call for Pura’s acquittal.

“Ang daming nagugutom, ninanakawan ang bayan tapos drag queen ang inaatupag niyo? DRAG QUEENS FIGHT BACK! Drag is Political. Drag is a statement. Drag is Power!” drag queen Worship the Gays posted.

“In a democratic country like the PH, anyone should be able to express their art without fear of being criminalized for it,”  performer Mrs. Tan wrote via her X account.

“DRPH” Season 1 finalist Eva Le Queen also shared her thoughts on the public’s perception of local drag.

“We have our own interpretations of ‘faith’ because God’s love has been weaponized to inflict more hate and suffering. Pura Luka Vega, was a living testimony of that,” Eva posted.

“If we can enjoy Queens lipsyncing against each other, can you really watch comfortably knowing anyone of them can go to jail for ‘crossing a line’? While ironically, a policeman can point a gun to a civilian in a road rage and walk freely?” she added.

Pura’s heartfelt return

Pura returned on stage during the fundraising show. She performed a heartfelt lip-sync of “The Prayer,” originally performed by Celine Dion and Andre Bocelli, with her mother.

Pura’s fellow “Drag Den” cast members, along with other members of the LGBTQIA community, earlier launched an online fundraiser for her bail following the drag queen’s sudden arrest at her house in Manila.

“Drag Den” director Rod Singh shared that they have P700,000 via their online fundraising activities, and an additional P200,000 during the fundraising drag show on Sunday