Niño Muhlach apologizes to Paco Larrañaga for 'drug crazed maniac' portrayal
MANILA, Philippines – Niño Muhlach has publicly apologized to Paco Larrañaga for his portrayal of the Chiong sisters convict in an episode of a TV series that aired years back.
The Chiong sisters, Marijoy and Jacqueline, disappeared on July 16, 1997, and a body believed to be Marijoy’s was found a few days later. Larrañaga, along with 6 others, was convicted for the crime in 1999, despite having witnesses and evidence to back his alibi. He is currently serving time in a Spanish prison.
Muhlach played Larrañaga in an episode of the now-defunct crime series Calvento Files.
In a Facebook post, he wrote: “Sorry Paco. I was asked to play the role of Paco Larrañaga for Calvento Files that was aired on ABS CBN at the time the case of the Chiong sisters was being heard on National TV.”
He said that he was asked to portray Larrañaga as “a drug crazed maniac” but felt bad for doing so after watching the 2011 documentary Give Up Tomorrow, which focuses on Larrañaga’s side of the case. (WATCH: 'Give Up Tomorrow' documentary on Rappler)
“It made me feel guilty for putting him in a bad light,” Muhlach wrote.
“But as an actor I had to follow what the script required from me. We all know the truth by now! Let’s stand up and fight for the injustice that Paco and the rest of the Chiong 7 had to suffer!” Muhlach wrote, adding the hashtag #freePacoNow.
Give Up Tomorrow’s Facebook page shared Muhlach’s post, thanking him for his apology and for rallying people to call for justice for the Chiong 7.
There has been renewed public interest in the Chiong sisters case following the release of Jacqueline Comes Home, a film that’s been panned for its supposed one-sided retelling of the case. – Rappler.com