Irma Adlawan speaks up against Liza Diño over 'Oro' issue

MANILA, Philippines – Oro star Irma Adlawan has spoken up against Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) Chairperson Liza Diño over the way she handled the controversial dog slaughter scene in the movie.

Irma and director Alvin Yapan addressed the issue in an interview on GMA's News To Go, aired on Tuesday, January 10.

During the interview, the two were asked about an issue that Liza raised on Facebook regarding that dog slaughter scene – that a representative from Oro lied to her about it before the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), saying that a goat and prosthetics were used. (READ: 'Oro' rep admits to lying about dog slaughter scene – Liza Diño)

Alvin said that the statement about the goat was not officially from the production.

"Nagkataon na pinanood ng Publicity Committee 'yung Oro, tapos na 'yung Executive Committee (ExeCom), 'yung Selection Committee. Mayroon po kaming assistant doon na may dala ng hard drive," he explained. "Tapos, nung makita ni Ms Liza Diño-Seguerra 'yung eksena, tinanong 'yung assistant namin, nataranta 'yung assistant namin."

(It just so happened that the Publicity Committee watched Oro, and then the Executive Committee and then the Selection Committee. We had an assistant who brought the hard drive there. When Liza Diño-Seguerra saw the scene, she asked our assistant, and our assistant panicked.)

Irma added that the assistant admitted to lying and apologized during a January 2 meeting with the MMFF ExeCom, Oro, and the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).

She said that the issue blew up on social media.

"Actually, sinabihan ko si Liza Diño na, 'Hindi mo dapat ipinost sa social media even before makapag-meeting.' Kasi, humingi na po ng meeting ang MMFF. Sinabi ko talaga na, 'This is the proper venue para tayo ay mag-usap-usap, harap-harapan, alamin kung ano ang katotohanan.' Kasi, kapag ginamit mo na ang social media, ang dami nang sasawsaw diyan, eh."

(Actually, I told Liza Diño, "You shouldn't have posted on social media even before we had a meeting," because the MMFF had already asked for a meeting. I really told her, "This is the proper venue for us to talk, face-to-face, find out the truth." Because if you use social media, a lot of people will start to butt in.)

Liza had posted about the scene previously, telling her Facebook followers that she was told a goat was used. After the meeting with the 3 parties, Liza posted on Facebook that Oro's representative lied.

Irma continued: "I mean, for her to be the chairperson of the FDCP, dapat alam niya 'yung responsibilidad niya. Hindi siya dapat nag-po-post ng gano'n even before conducting an investigation within."

(I mean, for her to be the chairperson of the FDCP, she should know her responsibilities. She shouldn't post things like that even before conducting an investigation within.)

"Sinabihan pa siya, kinausap pa siya na, 'Puwede bang mag-meeting muna bago ka mag-react? Papa-explain mo muna itong side namin kung ano talaga ang nangyari.' Pero, lo and behold, she used it, ano pa bang magagawa namin? We were tried publicly even before they actually talked to us. Pagdating namin sa meeting, wala na, ang dami nang nag-ba-bash."

(She was told, we told her, "Can we meet first before you react? Let us explain first our side of events." But lo and behold, she used it, and what could we do? We were tried publicly even before they actually talked to us. By the time we reached the meeting, there were so many people bashing us already.)

'All-powerful' Liza

Later in the interview, Alvin and Irma were asked what was next for the movie.

A day after the January 2 meeting, Oro was pulled out of theaters and stripped of one of its festival awards, the Fernando Poe Jr Memorial Award.

Alvin said they weren't sure what the MMFF, FDCP, Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), and Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB) are planning on doing.

Irma said: "Pinagdaanan po lahat [MMFF, FDCP, CEB, MTRCB]. Kaya lahat kami ay nagtataka. The point here is, all-powerful talaga si Liza Diño. Somehow, natakpan niya ang Selection Committee, natakpan niya ang lahat ng mga tao sa ExeCom. Hindi ko alam kung ano... pati MTRCB."

Irma added that when the controversy first blew up, she asked if the MMFF had any say in the MTRCB's rating. Oro was rated PG.

"So sabi nila, 'No, MTRCB is an independent ano...'" Irma said. "So, nagulat na lang kami na pinagdaanan naming lahat ito."

(So they said, "No, MTRCB is an independent [body]." So were were surprised that we went through all of this.)

"Suddenly, when Liza Diño came out, wala nang nagsalita sa kanila. Iniwan na nila kami sa ere. Walang Selection Committee that backed us up that we were selected. Walang ExeCom ng MMFF na nagsabi na, ''Yan ay isang pelikula na ipinagmamalaki namin at titingnan namin ito.' No, but Liza Diño talked and everybody shut up."

(Suddenly, when Liza Diño came out, none of them said anything anymore. They left us hanging. No Selection Committee backed us up that we were selected. No MMFF ExeCom said, "That's a movie that we're proud of so we'll look into the issue." No, but Liza Diño talked and everybody shut up.)

During the interview with News To Go, Alvin and Irma also clarified that the production filmed the butchering of a dog which was going to be consumed for a wake that happened to be ongoing in Gata, Camarines Sur.

"May lamay kasi na nangyari din doon, noong ginagawa namin 'yung pelikula, so talagang papatayin 'yung aso," said Alvin.

(There was a wake that was happening there, so when we were making the film, the dog was really going to be killed.)

Oro was one of the 8 films screened during the 2016 MMFF, which ran from December 25 to January 10. It was based on a true story about the Gata 4 massacre, in which 4 miners from Gata, Camarines Sur were killed. 

Aside from the FPJ Memorial Award, Irma won Best Actress for her performance in the film, and the cast won Best Ensemble. –