Directors’ guild strongly condemns sexual harassment | Inquirer Entertainment

Directors’ guild strongly condemns sexual harassment

/ 12:40 AM April 28, 2018

Guild offficers (from left): Mike Sandejas, Sari Dalena, Jose Javier Reyes, Paolo Villaluna and Joel Lamangan

The Directors Guild of the Philippines Inc. (DGPI) has made an unequivocal stand on the controversial issue of sexual misconduct in local show business.

In a statement dated April 21 and signed by president Mike Sandejas, the guild asserted that it “strongly condemns sexual harassment and other forms of abuse in the entertainment industry.”


The group’s statement explained that “directors possess authority both on and off the set and such power can be abused by deplorable personalities.” It conceded that the guild needed to “acknowledge this scourge that has become endemic to our society and, painfully, to our industry.”


Sandejas told the Inquirer that the “general” statement was sparked by the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse scandal that eventually led to the rise of the #MeToo movement in the United States.

(In Hollywood, several women have accused powerful producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct. The cases became the basis of a series of reports that recently won the Pulitzer Prize for the New York Times and the New Yorker.)

“I’ve had discussions with several people on how sexual harassment is now prevalent here, as well,” Sandejas said. “We encourage people to come out and file cases so it won’t be in the shadows … and in the realm of chismis.”

DGPI chair Paolo Villaluna pointed out: “The abuse of power in any professional sector exists, and the guild’s statement is a reminder that it happens in the entertainment industry.”

Board member Joel Lamangan remarked that the statement is “necessary and timely.” “We need to condemn any act of sexual harassment and encourage victims to come forward and file cases in court. We need to expose these evil acts!”

Board member Jose Javier Reyes related: “The guild is adjusting the guidelines, to answer the needs of the times.”


Board member Sari Dalena agreed: “I hope that this statement will encourage reforms in our industry.”

According to the statement, the DGPI is currently “crafting a revised Code of Conduct and will forward this to all its members. We believe that this can aid the industry in achieving a safer, more equitable and accountable workplace for everyone.”

Villaluna clarified: “We hope to create guidelines to avoid abuse, in its myriad forms, from happening.”

In the statement, the DGPI expressed its support for survivors of sexual harassment, while emphasizing the importance of filing legal cases against the perpetrators.

“Due process for both the victim and the accused is a necessary step,” the statement stressed. “Needless to say, guilt or innocence must not be assumed by any group and that judgments are reserved only for the legal courts.”

Villaluna stated: “It is high time… It’s important that we support and encourage survivors to speak up. Equally important is due process for everyone involved … to avoid a witch hunt.”

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Sandejas noted: “I hope the statement becomes a deterrent.”

TAGS: Directors Guild of the Philippines Inc. (DGPI), Sexual harassment, sexual misconduct

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