MANILA - (UPDATED) The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) wants the film "Oro" to be pulled out of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) because of its controversial slaughter scene.
PAWS executive director Anna Cabrera said they are doing their own investigation so they can file criminal charges against the makers of the film.
"Nagi-investigate kami para makakuha ng ebidensya na crime was committed para makapag-file kami ng criminal case. But more than that, what we expected from this meeting is that the MMFF executive committee itself would find that one, it is wrong for them to have lied, kasi ang sabi nila, no animal was killed or harmed here. Hindi totoo. So talagang may pinatay na aso for the film, and doon pa lang, we expected higher sanctions, heavier sanctions from the MMFF execom," she told reporters after their meeting with the MMFF executive committee on Monday.
She added that they want the film to be pulled out of cinemas and the awards it received from the MMFF revoked.
"We wanted the film to be pulled out kahit bukas na 'yung last day, and we wanted all the awards awarded to this film pulled out because a crime has been committed. Pero, ang sabi nila, ang gagawin na lang daw is ie-edit na lang 'yung objectionable scenes from the movie. You can edit out all the objectionable scenes but the fact remains that a dog was killed and that is not right kaya we are very disappointed," Cabrera said.
"Oro," which is a film about a barangay captain's attempt to defend a small mining community from bandits, was said to have shown a dog being gutted as it was being prepared to be cooked.
The law prohibits the use of animals killed for the purpose of film production, PAWS pointed out in their complaint addressed to Tim Orbos, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chief and chairman of the MMFF.
Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) chairperson Liza Dino has also described the scene as "very disturbing" and "very graphic."
Meanwhile, "Oro" director Alvin Yapan denied killing a dog for the film, adding that they used a pig and edited it to look like a dog.
He added that the controversial scene was not only included in the film just to make it controversial.
"Oro" is one of the eight entries to this year's filmfest. Irma Adlawan, its lead actress, won the top acting honor at the recently concluded MMFF awards night.