After the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival’s awarding ceremonies, one of its entries went viral. The multi-awarded entry, Oro, whose production team was accused of slaughtering a dog in one of its scenes, drew the ire of animal welfare activists.
Due to the public backlash, the Fernado Poe Jr. Memorial award it won was withdrawn by the family of the award’s namesake, late action star Fernando Poe Jr.
Oro also won Best Actress for Irma Adlawan performance and the Best Ensemble award.
In defense of the film, Director Alvin Yapan explained: “(Contrary to what is circulating on social media), I did not order an actor to kill a dog. I was so mad at that accusation. I am not dumb. No actor would condone that. I would not out any actor in that position.”
However, the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) are still going to pursue the charges filed against the filmmakers – namely, violating the Animal Welfare Act or Republic Act No. 8485 as amended by RA 10631.
Other big names in the showbiz industry were unable to contain their reactions about the film’s controversial scene and started airing their sentiments on social media. One of these personalities is pop star Sarah Geronimo, who voiced out her reaction on her Twitter account.
She said: "Kung totoo man ito...hindi ko mapaniwalaan na nagawa nilang patayin ang walang kamalay-malay na asong ito.. ..para lang maging makatotohanan ang isang eksena sa pelikula. Nakakadurog ng puso."
The pop star rarely airs her sentiments publicly, which could mean the news about the dog-killing scene in Oro affected her deeply. Her tweet has already reached almost 500 likes and almost 300 retweets.
According to MMFF spokesperson Noel Ferrer, Oro has been suspended from being screened until the filmmakers can submit a version with the dog slaughter scene edited out.
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