MANILA, Philippines – Darryl Yap teased that he is working on another film titled Martyr or Murderer about the late senator Ninoy Aquino.
The Filipino director said that the film would follow the life and death of a key political figure from the opposition during the old Marcos era – Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. He announced his new project on Facebook by beginning a countdown that indicated how many days remained until the film’s scheduled release in February 2023.
“Kilalanin ang unang dilaw (Get to know the first yellow),” part of the caption read.
In a press interview, Yap stated that Martyr or Murderer would revolve around “the heaviest accusation” thrown against the Marcos family in the course of history – that the family had a hand in the assasination of the late senator.
“And I want to present why the people should believe them that it’s not them,” Yap added.
This sequel film was announced barely a month after the premiere of the director’s controversial Maid in Malacañang, a film depicting the actions of the Marcos family in the wake of the old dictator’s historic ouster in 1986.
Many have criticized his recent work for pushing historical revisionism. For instance, it painted the events of the People Power Revolution as an internal tragedy for the Marcoses, despite the fact that the movement became necessary in the first place due to their protracted reign of power. The film’s narrative evidently “whitewashed” the 100,000 cases of human rights violations, 70,000 extrajudicial arrests, 34,000 people tortured, and 3,240 deaths that happened under Martial Law.
The Carmelite Monastery in Cebu even slammed the movie for its malicious and inaccurate depiction of their order. Sister Mary Melanie Costillas spoke against a scene where the late Cory Aquino was pictured playing mahjong with some religious sisters “while the fate of the country was in peril.” This was a poor recreation of the time when the female president sought refuge with nuns just as the revolution was gaining traction. Bishop Gerardo Alminaza from San Carlos, Negros Occidental joined the nuns in their condemnation.
Yap, whom Senator Imee Marcos dubbed as her “accomplice in all things online,” had also played a crucial role in virtually defaming the opposition during the campaign season. The director’s massive social media presence on Facebook and Youtube gave him the platform to air politically-charged comedy shorts, oftentimes starring Imee herself, indirectly attacking other presidential candidates such as The Lenlen Series, Tara Kape, and BabyM. – with reports from Bea Bertuldo/Rappler.com
Bea Bertuldo is a Rappler intern.