After the alleged controversy over cruelty on animals, ORO awards revoked by the executive committee of this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).
The committee is currently investigating whether a dog has been slaughtered for use in the Alvin Yapan-directed drama. The committee, which included Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) chairperson Liza Dino, said that they had rescinded the film’s Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial Award for Excellence after a meeting with Senator Grace Poe, the daughter of the late action star whom the award was named after.
ORO awards revoked a day after the senator urged the committee to investigate whether the film was guilty of animal cruelty. Poe stressed that artistic license “does not justify the violation of our laws.”
“If in fact that were the case, I condemn such act and would move for the invalidation of the FPJ award given to the film. …Though I am not part of the jury that decided on the award, it is my responsibility to uphold the values of FPJ. He would never condone an act of animal cruelty. Aside from the possible criminal liability, if indeed proved, the MMFF should also consider applicable administrative sanctions against the producers and/or film makers for any misrepresentation before the MMFF selection committee on this matter which in itself may already justify the movie being stripped of any and all awards it received among other sanctions,” Poe said in a statement.
Allegedly, ORO awards revoked over a scene where an alleged dog was shown being gutted as it was being prepared to be cooked.
This followed after animal welfare group Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) penned a complaint to Tim Orbos, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chief and chairman of the MMFF. The group, which pointed out that the law prohibits the use of animals killed for the purpose of film production, has since called for “Oro” to be pulled out from the film fest and all its awards, including a Best Actress nod for lead star Irma Adlawan, revoked.
ORO director Alvin Yapan, has already denied killing a dog for the film, adding that they used a pig and edited it to look like a dog. He added that the scene shows the tradition of people in some parts of the country.
“Hindi ko inimbento ang metapora ng aso dito para lang pumatay ng aso sa loob ng isang pelikula para lang pag-usapan. Nasa tunay talagang pagsasalaysay ng testigo sa Gata 4 Massacre na bumalik siya para singilin ang Patrol Kalikasan para sa kinatay nilang aso. Dahil nga kumakain ng aso ang patrol kalikasan, kasi nga tradisyon ang pagpulutan ng aso sa inuman sa ilang probinsiya sa bansa,” Yapan explained.