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‘OTJ’ cast speaks out on pork

Presscon on new crime thriller turns public forum against backdrop of pork barrel scandal

THE CAST. Gerald Anderson, Piolo Pascual, Dawn Jimenez, Empress, and Rayver Cruz. Photos by Mark Demayo

MANILA, Philippines – A press conference for Erik Matti’s new crime thriller, “OTJ (On the Job),” was held on Sunday, August 25, on the eve of the mass protest action against the still raging pork barrel scandal. 

SEE: The August 26 #MillionPeopleMarch Live

The film’s actors were very much aware of that backdrop as they presided over this event. So they shared their thoughts.

READ: Piolo, Gerald and Joe on the job

“Ikulong na lang natin ang mga may sala [Let’s put to jail all those who (violated the law)],” said Piolo Pascual, who plays an NBI agent in the Matti film. 

“Not just [with regards to] pork barrel. When you go out and you see yung kalye, yung infrastructure, walang ilaw sa mga kalye, nakakasakit, nakakadurog ng puso kasi alam mo kung gaano kalaki yung binabayaran mong tax tapos may lumalabas pang ganito.”

(When you go out and you see the streets, the infrastructure, no streetlights, it hurts, it’s heartbreaking because you know how much taxes you pay, then something like this comes out.)

The actor calls for transparency and accountability.

“Of course, we’re all for transparency eh. So kung hindi ganon, masakit man sa puso mo, kailangan mo magbayad ng tax kasi magnified ka bilang artista.”

(Because otherwise, as disheartening as it is, you have to pay taxes because you are this magnified personality as a star.)

DISHEARTENING. Piolo notes the burden on celebrities as taxpayers

Star Magic actress-model Empress Schuck agreed with Piolo.

Pag naisip mo ang sakit kasi lahat ng tao nagpapakahirap, tas sila, ganon lang yung gagawin nila. Siyempre masakit. Sana magawan talaga ng paraan at sana mahuli talaga yung mga may sala.

(It hurts when you think about it because everyone’s working hard, and they do something like that. Of course, it hurts. I hope this matter gets resolved and those who [violated the law should be held accountable].)

Gerald Anderson, who plays a contract killer in the movie, said he’s “disgusted” by this scandal.

The actor who took part in relief efforts on the heels of Maring-Habagat said he was also disapointed at the lack of resources on the face of this controversy.

“It’s very disgusting talaga,” said Gerald.

“At the end of the day, iniisip mo dapat mas may tulong tayo from them, pero wala eh.” (At the end of the day, you’d think we should get more help from them, but there’s none.)

“Yung pera, they take it for themselves, [They take the money, whereas] people are dying [during calamities] ‘pag may Ondoy, ‘pag may habagat.

“People are dying because of the money na nasa kanila [in their hands],” Gerald said, alluding to the personalities involved in the scandal.

CONTRAST. People are dying in calamities, on the face of this scandal, says Gerald

Rayver Cruz, who plays a cop, calls for restructuring the pork or scrapping it altogether.

Siguro mas maganda i-scrap na lang yung pork barrel tapos consolidate yung mga funds tapos i-distribute kung saan dapat mapunta yung pera, hindi lang sa kanila,” he said.

(Perhaps it’s better to just scrap the pork, consolidate the funds and distribute it to where the money should go, not just to them.)

Amplifying Rayver’s point, Gerald said, “Before they scrap it, dapat hulihin talaga nila.” (They should hold everyone accountable.)

Showbiz newcomer Dawn Jimenez, who plays Gerald love interest, surprised the presscon crowd when she said she and Jeane Napoles are friends.

Medyo mahirap kasi kaibigan ko yung anak,” said Dawn. Hindi ko alam na sila pala yun.” (I didn’t know they would be at the center of it all.)

Syempre affected ako kasi nagbabayad din ako ng tax and unfair naman.” (Of course, I’m affected by this, because I also pay taxes and it’s unfair.)

“Yung mga pino-post talaga niya, hindi naman kailangang i-flaunt.” (What she had posted [online], there was no need to flaunt it.)

“Matagal na kaming magkakilala nung bata pa kami.” (We’ve known each other since we were kids.) –


‘OTJ’ will be shown in cinemas on Wednesday, August 28.

Here’s the ‘OTJ’ trailer:

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