Robin Padilla scolds director for clapping during hearing on proposed ‘Plane’ ban
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Robin Padilla castigated a movie director during a Senate hearing on Thursday when the Hollywood film “Plane” was being discussed, saying that “Muslims will never accept” that the movie is fiction.
Film and TV commercial director Edward Mark Meily, president of the Directors Guild of the Philippines, Inc. (DGPI), became the target of Padilla’s ire when the former clapped in agreement with a statement being made by Senator Grace Poe in connection with the proposal for the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) to ban “Plane” for supposedly putting the Philippines in a bad light before the international scene.
Poe said that the Philippines might be able to dispel adverse claims about it by producing local films that showed the country’s good side, citing several movies, including that of her father, the late Fernando Poe Jr. Incidentally, Poe previously held the position of MTRCB chairman before she joined politics.
Meily’s applause, however, did not sit well with Padilla, himself a former actor.
“No, pumapalakpak ka. Bawal dito. Kanina pa ‘ko kumakalma sa inyo. Hindi ko gustong pumapalakpak ka. This is my hearing,” he said.
(No, you were clapping. It is not allowed. I’m trying to keep my calm. I don’t want you clapping. This is my hearing.)
Meily apologized to the senator and said that he respected his feelings.
“Humihingi ako ng paumanhin, senator, I agree with you. Nirerespeto ko ‘yung nararamdaman mo. I am active also in helping with the BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) authority through our government services,” Meily said.
(I ask for an apology. Senator, I agree with you. I respect your feelings. I am also active in helping with the BARMM authority through our government services.)
“Ang posisyon lang namin is about banning of films in general. Nirerespeto namin ‘yung pakiramdam n’yo and I agree with that,” he added.
(Our position is just about banning films in general. We respect your feelings, and I agree with that.)
But Padilla insisted that the movie, which starred Gerard Butler, presents a bad image of the Philippines, particularly of Jolo in Sulu. While it was filmed in Puerto Rico, the movie’s setting was in Jolo, the site of a plane crash where a band of militiamen supposedly terrorized the passengers.
Padilla insisted that even if the movie is a work of fiction, fellow Muslims will not accept it because it suggests that people of Jolo are terrorists.
“‘Yun pong patungkol diyan sa sinasabing fiction, alam n’yo mga kapatid — maaring sayo, nakakapalakpak kayo pero kami sa mga Muslim, hindi kami kailanman papalakpak,” the senator said during the Senate committee on public information and mass media hearing, which he chairs.
(Saying that it is fiction — maybe you can clap about it, but we, Muslims, will never clap.)
“Fiction sa inyo ‘yan pero tumatama sa amin ‘yun. Jolo is not fiction. Philippines is not fiction. Lugar namin ‘yun. Maaaring sa inyo ok. Pero sa amin, mananatili ang posisyon namin: nasaktan kami rito,” the actor-politician added.
(It’s fiction for you. Jolo is not fiction. The Philippines is not fiction. That is our place. Maybe for you, it is ok. But for us, our position remains: we’re hurt by the film.)
Padilla earlier met with officials of the MTRCB to further push for his call to ban the film and issue a condemnation. The review body responded that it would reevaluate the film, prompting the DGPI to issue a statement saying it would stand against movie censorship and curtailment of freedom of expression. EDV