MANILA, Philippines – A representative from Oro admitted that a dog was killed while they were filming the movie and they did not use a goat with prosthetics for the scene, as Film Development Council of the Philippines chairperson Liza Diño was previously told.
On her Facebook page, Liza released the details of a January 2 meeting with the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) Executive Committee (ExeCom), the Oro production team, and the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).
Liza, who is also an ExeCom member, said: “The representative of Oro, who was present during the ExeCom screening of Oro, admitted to lying to us and those present when she said they used a goat and prosthetics during the dog scene. They said it was out of panic.”
In a December 30 Facebook post, Liza said that representatives of the film told her before the festival began that a goat and prosthetics was used for the scene, not a dog.
In her January 3 post, Liza also enumerated the following details regarding the issue:
“5. Oro production reiterated that no animal was harmed ‘for the purpose of the film.’ They said it was within the bounds of culture in that area where dogs are eaten as food.
“6. A real dog was killed during the filming of the movie.
“7. No one from the production did the actual killing of the dog.
“8. The dog killed and gutted in the film was the same dog seen alive during the establishing shot.”
The Oro representative also acknowledged that the production had received a text message from the MMFF about coordinating with PAWS over the scene. They also received but chose not to follow the MMFF’s recommendation of putting a disclaimer in the movie.
PAWS, according to Liza, received complaints about the said scene, which they believe violated Republic Act 8485 or The Animal Welfare Act of 1998. They are currently gathering evidence to prove that the act was violated.
If found guilty, PAWS asked the MMFF ExeCom to pull the film from the festival lineup and strip it of its festival awards.
Liza said they are leaving it to the courts to decide if the act was violated, should PAWS pursue a case. Meanwhile, the MMFF committee is set to reconvene and discuss their next move.
“On our end, it is obvious that MMFF rules were violated because of Oro‘s misrepresentation. This could subject them to specific sanctions from the committee on top of what has already been agreed by the legal counsels present,” she said.
Statement of condemnation
Later on Tuesday, January 3, Liza released a “Statement of Condemnation” regarding the production’s lying about not killing a dog during filming.
The statement read: “Pursuant to the agreement reached by the lawyers present during the inquiry, a new DCP [Digital Cinema Package] in keeping with animal welfare will be submitted for showing plus affidavit of support for human and animal rights and welfare alike.”
Until then, the present version of Oro will not be shown in theaters.
Below is the statement in full:
In both posts, Liza noted: “We would like to reiterate that the MMFF Executive Committee takes this opportunity to strongly emphasize that it has not condoned nor will ever condone any cruelty to animals. Neither will it allow the festival to be the vehicle for such actions.”
The movie’s director Alvin Yapan and producer Feliz Guerrero earlier issued a statement on the controversy, saying that the dog detail was part of the true story that the movie was based on. He did not, he said, ask an actor to kill a dog, nor did they eat the dog on set. (READ: ‘Oro’ director, producer address controversial dog slaughter scene)
On Tuesday, the MMFF ExeCom also withdrew the Fernando Poe Jr Memorial Award from the movie after talking with the late FPJ’s family. Senator Grace Poe, FPJ’s daughter, earlier said that the MMFF ExeCom should look into the issue and that her late father would not tolerate such animal cruelty.
Oro is based on the story of 4 miners who were killed in a massacre in Camarines Sur. Aside from the FPJ Memorial Award, it also won Best Ensemble Cast and the Best Actress award for Irma Adlawan during the Gabi ng Parangal. – Rappler.com