A Catholic bishop in the central Philippine diocese of San Carlos did not mince words in calling for “boycott” of a controversial movie about the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s family.
Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos described the film “Maid in Malacañang” as “shameless”, and called on the people behind it to issue an apology.
“The producer, scriptwriter, director and those promoting this movie should publicly apologize to the Carmelite nuns, to President Cory Aquino’s family and to the Filipino people,” Bishop Alminaza said.
The prelate was reacting to the movie trailer portraying the late president playing mahjong with a group of nuns.
Aquino sought refuge overnight at the Carmelite monastery in Cebu during the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution.
The movie supposedly depicts the last 72 hours of Marcoses in Malacañang Palace, the official residence of the Philippine president.
While the characters were not wearing the Carmelites’ brown religious habit, the congregation said the allusion to them “is too obvious for anyone not to see”.
“We are praying for the unity of Filipinos. But this unity can only be built on truth and not on historical distortion,” said Sr. Mary Costillas, prioress of Carmelite Monastery in Cebu.
The statement was obviously in reference to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., whose election campaign circled around his call for unity.
“Depicting the nuns as playing mah-jong with Cory Aquino is malicious. It would suggest that while the fate of the country was in peril, we could afford to leisurely play games,” she added.
Bishop Alminaza challenged the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, which is under the office of the president, to act on the issue and exercise its mandate.
“Would the MTRCB act responsibly on this and perform its mandated duty?” he asked.