Israeli vlogger Nuseir Yassin, more popularly known as Nas Daily, has cried foul over the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples’ (NCIP) statement branding his agreement with famed Kalinga tattoo artist Apo Whang Od as “grossly onerous.”
Nas disputed the NCIP’s findings, which it publicized after weeks of interviews with Whang Od, known as Maria Oggay, her family, and the elders and leader of Barangay Buscayan in Tinglayan, her hometown.
“It is not true that Apo Whang-od’s consent was not obtained and that she did not affix her signature. It is also not true that the contract was not discussed with her,” Nas said in a statement, adding that his firm tapped a local production company and Filipino translators to ensure that Whang Od understood the terms of the agreement.
“The contract specifically provided that Whang-Od will receive shared revenue from the income generated from the project. As proof, her niece Estela opened a bank account where the proceeds from this project would be sent,” he added, saying it was their way to help Whang-od’s family to have some money through “difficult times” brought on by the pandemic.
Nas slammed NCIP for its alleged failure to get his side before releasing its findings.
“We were ready to cooperate with the Regional Office of the NCIP in its investigation. But Nas Academy was not given the chance to explain its side before arriving at a conclusion and releasing a statement,” he added. “This is not how a fair investigation is held. Both sides must be heard to reach a fair and informed conclusion.”
The controversy over Nas Academy’s deal with Whang Od has resulted in the mass unfollowing of Nas Daily’s social media accounts by irate netizens.
A number of Filipino personalities, including Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and Jessica Soho, have pulled out of agreements to teach masterclasses through Nas Academy.