Dolly de Leon, Khalil Ramos, other industry peers rally for Jade Castro’s release

February 16, 2024 - 5:40 PM
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Dolly de Leon_Jade Castro_Khalil Ramos
Dolly de Leon in this photo credited to Ryan Ong, Mark Alvarez and Kervin Luy and posted on her Instagram on Nov. 24, 2023; Jade Castro in this photo taken by Sanriel Ajero and posted on his Facebook on Feb. 28, 2021; Khalil Ramos in this photo posted on his Instagram on Jan. 22, 2024 (dollyedeleon/Instagram; jade.castro.355/Facebook; khalilramos/Instagram)

Celebrities Dolly de Leon, Khalil Ramos and Gab Pangilinan, along with other personalities in the film industry, called for the immediate release of filmmaker Jade Castro days after he and his friends were arrested without warrant over alleged arson.

The acclaimed director and his companions, civil engineers Noel Mariano and Dominic Ramos and sales manager Ernesto Orcine, were vacationing in Quezon province when they were accused of setting a modern jeepney on fire on January 31.

The group was arrested without warrant on February 1. They have since been detained at the Catanauan Municipal Police Station.

Five organizations have previously called for their release.

A fundraising initiative was also launched to help them deal with their legal fees.

RELATED: Calls for release of filmmaker Jade Castro mount after arrest for alleged arsonFundraising call launched for filmmaker Jade Castro amid arson accusation

Opposition Sen. Risa Hontiveros has additionally filed a resolution seeking the Senate panel on public order and dangerous drugs to investigate the police operation that led to the arrest of Jade and his friends.

Lawyer group Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), which is chaired by lawyer Chel Diokno, also flagged the police’s actions against the group, saying that there was no basis to arrest them without a warrant and that there were “defects in the inquest process.”

Two officials of the Mulanay town in Quezon said they were with the group in a food establishment when the crime occurred.

The local government employees added that Catanauan was far from where Jade and his friends were during the period of the crime.

A CCTV footage also revealed that the filmmaker was seen recording a local pageant in Mulanay on the night of the supposed arson.

Despite this, the police continued to detain the group as they doubted the CCTV’s authenticity.

Numerous personalities have since rallied for their release under the hashtag “#FreeDirekJade,” mostly actors and Jade’s colleagues and friends in the local film and entertainment industry.

Among these are Golden Globes and BAFTA nominee Dolly de Leon and actors Khalil Ramos and Gab Pangilinan.

“All our mutual friends have nothing but good words to say about you. And because of that and my own experience of you, I know you’re one of the good people we’re lucky enough to have in this crazy world. Kelan ba kita makakatrabaho? Sana soon. Uwi ka na, please. Pauwiin [niyo] na si Jade. PLEASE. #freedirekjade,” Dolly wrote.

Khalil also described Jade as “one of the kindest directors” he has ever worked with.

“So generous with his craft [and] knowledge. Kaka-miss mga kwentuhan natin, direk! Kelan na next?? #FreeDirekJade,” the actor said.

Gab also described the director as “one of the most genuine, fun people in the industry.”

Actress and film producer Iana Bernardez, the daughter of renowned actress Angel Aquino, also called for the director’s release.

Actor-director John Lapus described Jade as a “kind” and “calm” person.

Meanwhile, acclaimed filmmaker Erik Matti invited friends and his colleagues to show their support for Jade by appearing at the Congress on Monday, when he said the House Committee on Public Order and Safety will hold a hearing over the case.

“#freejadecastronow,” he wrote.

Fellow filmmakers Antoinette Jadaone, Quark Henares, Jun Robles Lana, Paolo Villaluna, Samantha Lee and Moira Lang likewise called for their contemporary’s release from detention.

TV and film director Mae Cruz Alviar also wished Jade and his companions were currently “safe.”

Author-musician Aldus Santos also attested to Jade’s character and called for the director’s release.

Danica Sison, creator and writer of the web series “Boys’ Lockdown,” also used the “#FreeDirekJade” hashtag to express support.

Film producer and festival worker Lorna Tee hoped she would be able to see Jade’s “sweet smile” again.

Writer and film director Kenneth Dagatan recalled how Jade taught him to find his “voice as a storyteller.”

Josel Garlitos, senior story producer and headwriter of “Drag Race Philippines,” quipped that he and the director would still “shoot Oscars posters photos.”

“I love you, Jadey! #FreeJadeCastro, #FreeDirekJade,” Josel wrote.

Ronald Arguelles, executive producer of C1 Originals movies and Vivamax’s head of content aggregation, offered a prayer for Jade’s sake.

Indie film producer Alem Ang hoped the director could be immediately released since they still have a lot of stories to produce and turn into movies.

Jade is known for writing and directing the romantic indie film “Endo” which won the Special Jury Prize at the 2007 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and Best Screenplay at the 2007 Gawad Urian.

He also directed “Zombadings 1: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington,” “My Big Love,” “My Lady Boss,” “My Kontrabida Girl,” “Beki Boxer,” “LSS (Last Song Syndrome)” and “Juana C: The Movie

Jade also wrote for the films “First Day High,” “RPG Metanoia” and “My Amnesia Girl.”

The filmmaker was additionally the director for Virgin Labfest 12’s “Dalawang Gabi.”