The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) said Friday, July 24, it was confused over the removal of its chair Liza Diño from the executive committee of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).
Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chair Danilo Lim removed Diño from the committee Tuesday, July 21. Lim said in his letter to Diño that she was expelled after she had attempted to transfer the administration of the MMFF to the FDCP.
In that letter addressed to Diño, Lim recalled that she had written to Malacañang in 2016 to ask to transfer chairmanship of the festival to FDCP. He also said that “recent events and information” show that Diño continued to lobby for FDCP to manage the MMFF.
Lim appeared to be referring to a July 20 Facebook post by MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago, showing a document proposing the change. Pialago posted a photo of the document, which was undated, unsigned, and printed on paper with the FDCP header. In the caption, she called out Diño, reiterating that “MMFF belongs to MMDA.”
However, the FDCP said in a statement posted on Twitter on July 24 that the document posted by Pialago was a 2017 position paper that had been forwarded to the MMFF for comment.
They said that the MMFF executive committee discussed the said document in October 2017 and “since then up to this date, no further actions were made by any of the parties on the matter.”
“In fact FDCP accepted subsequent invitations to be part of the executive committee after 2017 in support of the Philippine film industry,” the statement said.
FDCP said that Lim’s July 21 letter to Diño was the first official communication they received from him on the matter, and that they had reached out to the MMDA for clarification.
The agency said that none of the issues in Lim’s letter were discussed in the last meetings of the MMFF. Neither were they raised with the FDCP board of trustees, of which the MMDA is a permanent member.
“Hence, the confusion of the agency,” they said, adding that they will release a more detailed statement after meeting with the MMDA.
The MMFF, which runs in December, is managed by the MMDA. It is meant to promote Filipino films, with only MMFF films showing in Philippine cinemas during its run. – Rappler.com