Hindi ako tanga: ‘Oro’ director denies dog slaughter allegation
Amid allegations of animal cruelty, the writer and director of “Oro,” one of the entries in the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), has denied that he ordered the slaughter of a dog on set to create a controversy and for his film to be talked about.
In a statement on Facebook, director Alvin Yapan said the killing of dogs was part of tradition in some far-flung provinces in the country, adding that he did not order one of his actors to perform the slaughter.
“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. Dahil nga kumakain ng aso ang patrol kalikasan, kasi nga tradisyon ang pagpulutan ng aso sa inuman sa ilang probinsiya sa bansa,” Yapan wrote.
READ: ‘Oro’ sued over dog slaughter scene
“Ikalawa, hindi totoo na inutusan ko ang isang aktor para lang pumatay ng aso. Diyan ako pinakanagalit. 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.
The director’s statement came as animal rights group Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) said it would press charges against the people behind “Oro” for supposed violation of Republic Act No. 10631 or the Animal Welfare Act.
Yapan also denied that the slaughtered dog was eaten on set, saying that a pig was instead used in the drinking scene which was filmed on a different day.
“Hindi ako tanga. At kahit sinumang aktor siguro hindi papayag diyan.”
He maintained that he was not in the position to lecture the locals on animal welfare when he himself was not able to do anything to protect the human rights of their loved ones.
“Bakit hindi ko sila tinuruan na mali ang pagkatay ng aso? Bakit hindi ko sila tinuruan ng animal welfare? Sino ako para gawin iyon sa kanila? Ni wala akong nagawa para sa pakikipaglaban sa karapatan ng kanilang mga mahal sa buhay, tapos lelecturan ko sila sa karapatan ng asong kinakain nila?” Yapan said.
“Sino naman akong burgis na tagasentro na bigla na lang lelecturan sila na barbaro ang kanilang ginagawa ni wala nga akong naitulong para iangat ang kanilang antas ng pamumuhay para naman baboy at baka na ang kanilang kainin? And now you are doing this to me for giving voice to the violence they experienced?” he added.
READ: Poe: ‘Oro’ may lose FPJ Memorial Award if dog killing proven true
In a letter to the MMFF executive committee, PAWS said the killing of dogs, even as part of tradition or custom, should be coordinated with the Bureau of Animal Industry and the Committee on Animal Welfare. Filmmakers and the MMFF committee had agreed to edit out the controversial scene.
Sen. Grace Poe warned that Oro, which received the Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial Award for Excellence, may lose its citation if proven that a dog was butchered as part of the film. CBB
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