Liza Diño-Seguerra said the representative of the film present during the executive committee screening admitted lying over the dog slaughter scene.
MMFF/Facebook
‘Oro’ team lied to MMFF body, Liza Diño says
Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - January 3, 2017 - 4:37pm

MANILA, Philippines — Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) Chair Liza Diño-Seguerra on Tuesday revealed that the production team of controversial Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry “Oro” has lied to the festival’s executive committee when they said no dog was killed while shooting the film.

Disclosing what transpired during the MMFF executive committee’s inquiry into the alleged animal cruelty committed by the production of “Oro,” Diño said the representative of the film present during the executive committee screening admitted lying. 

According to the representative, the previous statement of using goat and prosthetics in the dog slaughter scene was just a lie since a real dog was killed during the filming. Diño said the dog killed and slaughtered in the film was the same dog seen alive during the establishing shot.

“They said it [alibi] was out of panic,” Diño said, adding that there was no attempt to retract the statement from the point on.

The “Oro” team production, however, reiterated that no animal was harmed “for the purpose of the film.” For them, the dog killing was within the bounds of culture in that area where dogs are eaten as food.

“Oro” film director and writer Alvin Yapan also said that no one from the production did the actual killing of the dog, saying there are other individuals assigned to butcher by tradition. He previously said the scene was relevant as it was based on the narration of a witness of the Gata 4 Massacre.

READ: ‘Oro’ production team: No dog killed for film

The team said they acknowledged that they received the recommendation to put a disclaimer in the movie that “no animal was harmed during the filming” but chose to not follow the recommendation.

Meanwhile, “Oro” talent, Japo Parcero, took to Facebook to reveal that indeed there were animal killings during the filming. She disclosed that two dogs were killed.

“This is where the predicament began. At the after party attended at by the entire crew and cast, I was made aware that A DOG WAS KILLED IN THE SHOOT. In fact, two dogs died, one accidentally and one deliberately,” Parcero narrated.

“The production bought the first dog, and the owner, in his excitement to deliver the dog and receive his payment, tied the dog in a sack and unknowingly killed him by suffocation. The production, bent on shooting the scene which apparently was in the script, bought another dog for butchering,” she added.

Legal action vs 'Oro'

On Tuesday, the MMFF executive committee withdrew the FPJ Memorial Award for Excellence upon consultation with the family of late veteran actor Fernando Poe Jr. His daughter Sen. Grace Poe said if the scene was proven to be true, she herself would move for the award’s invalidation.

The film also received the Best Ensemble Cast award and its lead actress Irma Adlawan won best actress. However, the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) asked the MMFF executive committee to revoke all awards given to “Oro.”

The group also urged the festival committee to pull out the film in the cinema and impose administrative sanctions against the director and producers of “Oro” for violating the Animal Welfares Act or the Republic Act 8485. PAWS stressed that killing of dogs is a crime and the filmmakers failed to disclose the illegal act after they filmed it.

It cited that the film is no different from torture videos of animals.

After obtaining a copy of the film's script, PAWS learned that the graphic dog-killing segment was indeed part of the scene. It said the final edited version proved that the production “obviously planned how to properly stage the scene (the actors were blocked, the set was lit and the cameras and mics were positioned) to obtain the needed shots.”

“PAWS Board Member Rich Ilustre, a director himself, made the observation that using actual footage of dog killing and editing it seamlessly into a scene with actors is extremely difficult,” the group said in a statement.

“Killing an animal for dramatic purposes or entertainment is ethically reprehensible,” it added.

While it is planning on filing criminal charges against the “Oro” production team,  PAWS called on the actors and crew members who may have personal knowledge of the circumstances to help their investigation.

“The director, producer, crew, and (possibly) the actors and extras, violated the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) by procuring a dog for slaughter, and actually having it killed - whether by them directly or by some other people - for the movie,” it said.

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

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