Mom of slain teen to Netflix: Cancel Brillante Mendoza's 'Amo'

MANILA, Philippines – "For me, killing is not right."

A former overseas Filipino worker (OFW) whose son was gunned down by unknown assailants is calling on entertainment giant Netflix to "cancel" Filipino director Brillante Mendoza's upcoming series, Amo.

In a Change.org petition, Luzviminda Siapo called on Netflix to cancel the show since a "war on drugs is not the solution."

Amo will be set against President Rodrigo Duterte's bloody but popular campaign against illegal drugs. 

"For me, killing is not right. Everyone deserves a chance to live and change his life," Siapo wrote in a petition that has so far garnered over 3,800 signatures.

Mendoza, a known supporter of Duterte and his campaign against illegal drugs, previously said Amo would depict a "necessary" drug "war." 

A crackdown on illegal drugs was among Duterte's key campaign promises in 2016. While it has its supporters, critics have also pointed out the rising death count attributed to either police or apparent vigilante groups.

Siapo is the mother of the late Raymart Siapo, a 19-year-old who was abducted and killed by a group of men in ski masks on March 29, 2017. His abduction happened a day after a neighbor tagged him as a marijuana distributor in their Navotas City barangay (village).

According to an Inquirer report, the 19-year-old was heard "crying for help from anyone he saw on the street." His killers reportedly told him to get off a motorcycle and run.

But Raymart, who was born with bilateral club foot, literally could not.

"When my son refused, they asked him to sit down instead. Then, they shot him. Just like that," the Inquirer quoted Siapo as saying.

She was working as an OFW in Kuwait at the time of her son's death.

Siapo confirmed to Rappler that she wrote the petition, with help from friends whom she met during a drug campaign forum in Bangkok, Thailand.

Amo is the first Filipino series to be streamed by Netflix. The entertainment giant earlier streamed Birdshot, a Filipino movie.

Read Siapo's petition in full here:

Dear Netflix,

I am LUZVIMINDA SIAPO. A former Overseas Filipino Worker in Kuwait. I am the mother of RAYMART SIAPO, 19 years old. I was yet to finish my contract in Kuwait when I had to go back home. Raymart was reported to the Barangay (village) Hall falsely accused of selling marijuana. The following night, he was abducted. His arms were broken. He was told to run. But he couldn’t. Raymart was born disabled. He was club-footed. Fourteen masked men riding seven motorcycles abducted and killed my 19-year-old son. He was shot twice in the head.

My son was one of the thousands of victims of President Duterte’s campaign against drugs. Now that AMO, a show about the war on drugs in the Philippines, is to be screened on Netflix, I am deeply concerned. According to its director Brillante Mendoza, the war on drugs is necessary in the Philippines and other countries having problems with illegal drugs.

I would like to ask you to cancel this show. War on drugs is not the solution. For me, killing is not right. Everyone deserves a chance to live and change his life.

Luzviminda Siapo

Dear Netflix,

Ako si LUZVIMINDA SIAPO. Dating OFW sa Kuwait. Ina ako ni RAYMART SIAPO, 19 years old. Di pa tapos ang kontrata ko ay bigla akong umuwi ng Pilipinas. Inereport sa Barangay si Raymart dahil pinagbintangan siyang nagtitinda ng marijuana. Sunod na gabi, dinukot siya. Binalian pa ng kamay, at pinatakbo. Pero di sya nakatakbo dahil ang kanyang dalawang paa ay may kapansanan. Binaril sa ulo ng dalawang beses ang 19 years old kong anak na si Raymart. Labing-apat na lalakeng nakamaskarang sakay ng pitong motor ang dumukot at pumatay sa anak ko.

Isa ang anak ko sa libo-libong biktima ng kampanya sa droga ni President Duterte. Ngayong ipapalabas ang AMO, isang show tungkol sa war on drugs sa Pilipinas, ako po ay lubos na nababahala. Ayon sa kanyang direktor na si Brillante Mendoza, ang war on drugs ay kailangan ng Pilipinas at nang ibang bansang may problema sa droga.

Nais ko pong manawagan na ikansela ang show na ito. Hindi war on drugs ang sagot sa problema sa droga. Para sa akin hindi tama ang pagpatay. Bawat tao ay may karapatang mabuhay at magbago.

Luzviminda Siapo

– Rappler.com