MANILA, Philippines -- Actor Cesar Montano denied that his latest film "Biktima," which tells the story of a journalist sent to a war-torn village, was inspired by the kidnapping of ABS-CBN's Ces Orena-Drilon in 2008.
"To be quite honest, after we did the film -- kasi we did it in 2009 -- may kahawig na istorya siya, parang ganoon, sabi nila," Montano told ABS-CBN News on Tuesday, referring to the abduction of Drilon by Abu Sayyaf militants.
"Ginawa namin 'yung pelikula even before that event took place, so hindi namin ginaya. Nagkataon lang na gumawa kami ng pelikula," he added.
In June 2008, the veteran broadcast journalist was held for ransom by the al-Qaeda-linked group, until she was freed after nine days of captivity.
"Very typical naman kasi 'tong nangyayari na 'to, very universal naman," Montano said.
In the film, directed by R.D. Alba, Montano portrays the husband of a news reporter (Aquino) who is thought to have perished after being sent to a war-torn village.
'Victims of circumstance'
"'Biktima' is a suspense, a little thriller, drama story of one family na naging biktima 'yung asawa ko, played by Angel Aquino, and of course in the process, we all become victims of circumstances, dahil very complex 'yung nangyari, at lahat naapektuhan," Montano said.
Billed as a "maindie" film, "Biktima" will be released by Star Cinema.
According to Montano, the film was mounted in the hopes of being screened to international audiences.
"Paramount intention namin is to join international film festivals for this particular story, so 'yung plot nakatahi doon. 'Yung storya kakaiba at 'di pa nagagawa ito sa Philippine cinema," he said.
Also starring Mercedes Cabral and Sunshine Cruz, "Biktima" will hit theaters on September 19.