MMFF hit 'Oro' in danger over controversial scene

12:29 AM Fandom Pilipinas 0 Comments

Photo obtained from ORO - MMFF Facebook page.


MANILA, Philippines - The Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry 'Oro' was pulled out from showing in theaters over a scene that involved the killing of a dog, which is touted to have violated the country's Republic Act 8485, known as the Animal Welfare Act.

Shortly before this, the honorary Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial Exclellence Award that was given to the film during the awards ceremony last December 29 was withdrawn by the MMFF's executive committee (Execomm), until the scene gets deleted. This comes after Senator Grace Poe, daughter of the award's namesake, condemned the scene.

The film's director, Alvin Yapan, and producer Feliz Guerrero had denied such allegation and clarified their side in a post on the film's official Facebook page (as translated):

"There are two aspects to this statement. First, about the topic of the film. I did not create the metaphor of the dog only to kill the dog inside a film just for conversation. It was in the true witness statement from the Gata 4 Massacre that he went back to charge the Patrol Kalikasan for killing a dog. Because the Patrol Kalikasan eats dogs, as their tradition that they eat dogs during drinking sprees in some parts of the country."

"Second, I did not ask the actor to kill a dog. That's when I got angry. I'm not stupid. And even any actor would not agree to such action. Nor I can put any actor in such position. In the provinces, there really is a person assigned to kill dogs, pigs, cows, etc.," Yapan wrote.

Meanwhile, Guerrero said: "Today we have a law that protects animals. It is respected and followed by Feliz Film Productions. No one in the production team killed a dog. But, it was needed that tradition be shown that until today is being done by different tribes and communities in accordance to their cultures."

The full statement below:

Meanwhile, the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), one of the country's most prominent animal rights organizations, has stated that they are investigating and are compiling evidence in order to file a complaint.

PAWS' version of the story had contradicted those of the film's producer and director, saying that the director had informed an MMFF Execomm member through text that the dog was indeed bought, and that they had lied when they said that the dog was not harmed when the film was in its screening stages for the festival.

Below is PAWS' official statement:

The film stars Joem Bascon, Irma Adlawan, and Mercedes Cabral, and discusses the massacre of four gold miners in a Philippine Island.

(With reports from Rappler and GMA News Online) FP