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‘Oro’ production team: No dog killed for film

The production team of controversial Metro Manila Film Festival  entry, “Oro,” on Monday evening denied the claims that a dog was actually killed for the film. MMFF/Facebook

MANILA, Philippines – The production team of controversial Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry “Oro” on Monday evening denied the claims that a dog was actually killed for the film.

Writer and director Alvin Yapan said the insertion of the dog slaughter scene was relevant to the film as it was based on true events. He said that it was only based on the testimony of the witness of the Gata 4 massacre, where the film was based.

“Hindi ko inimbento ang metapora ng aso dito para lang pumatay ng aso sa loob ng isang pelikula para lang pag-usapan. Nasa tunay talagang pagsasalaysay ng testigo sa Gata 4 Massacre na bumalik siya para singilin ang Patrol Kalikasan para sa kinatay nilang aso,” Yapan said.

“Dahil nga kumakain ng aso ang Patrol Kalikasan, kasi nga tradisyon ang pagpulutan ng aso sa inuman sa ilang probinsiya sa bansa,” he added.

Yapan also said he was angered that some think he ordered his actor to kill a dog. As a director, Yapan said that he will not put any cast member in that position.

“Hindi totoo na inutusan ko ang isang aktor para lang pumatay ng aso. Diyan ako pinaka-nagalit. Hindi ako tanga. At kahit sinumang aktor siguro hindi papayag diyan. O hindi ko ilalagay ang sinumang aktor sa ganyang posisyon. Sa probinsiya po, may mga nakatalaga talagang tagapatay ng aso, baboy, baka, etc,” he added.

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Likewise, Yapan also denied that the crew ate dog meat on the set. He clarified that pork was used for the scene.

'Dog slaughter, dog eating,' a tradition

Yapan said that he refused to lecture locals on killing and eating dogs since it is actually a tradition in some Philippine provinces.

“Bahagi ng tradisyon ng Pilipinong komunidad ang pagsasama-sama at pagkatay ng hayop para makain sa isang salo-salo. Nariyan ang baka, baboy, kambing, manok, kasama ang aso. Kung ano ang natatagpuan sa kanilang lugar, yaon ang kanilang kinakain,” Executive Producer Feliz Guerrero of Feliz Film Productions said.

“Nais sa pelikula ipakita ang kakaibang dinadaanan ng masang komunidad na mayaman sa likas na yaman- ginto. Nagnanais at nangangarap ang komunidad para umunlad,” she added.

Guererro said “Oro” and Feliz Film Productions respect the laws giving protection to animals but she said the movie need to depict the tradition of the subject province.

“Wala sa production team ang pumatay ng aso. Ngunit, kinailangang ipakita ang nakagisnang tradisyon na hanggang sa ngayon ay ginagawa pa din ng iba't ibang tribo at komunidad na naaayon sa kanilang kultura. Nais ng pelikula na pag-isipan at pag-usapan ang mga metapora na ipinakita ng pag-alaga at pagkatay ng hayop,” she said.

“Oro” received two awards during the Gabi ng Parangal –the FPJ Memorial Award for Excellence and Best Ensemble Cast while lead actress Irma Adlawan won best actress last Thursday. However, it drew flak after various groups complained of the dog killing scene.

The Animal Welfare Act recognizes the consumption of dog meat as a tradition in some communities and allows it if "it is done as part of the religious rituals of an established religion or sect or ritual required by ethnic custom of indigenous cultural communities." It however requires the slaughter do be done humanely. Community leaders are also supposed to keep records of these.

RELATED: MMFF probes ‘Oro’ over dog slaughter scene | Poe to have FPJ award for ‘Oro’ revoked if dog slaughter scene real

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