"Oro," an entry to this year's Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), is facing an investigation into whether a live dog was slaughtered for use in the Alvin Yapan-directed drama.
The 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, as animal welfare group Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) pointed out in their complaint over the film 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 released a statement on Facebook, saying they have summoned the team of "Oro" after being made aware of the complaint.
She added, however, that she has seen the scene, which she described as "very disturbing" and "very graphic," in question and said that she acted in good faith when the representatives of "Oro" told her that a "goat was used and some prosthetics to make it look real."
"Since the movie opened, I've been receiving calls and texts from various groups about the 'dog scene' but I keep on saying 'it's not real' because that was the information given to me," Diño wrote.
"To be clear, the MMFF executive committee does not condone such acts nor allow the festival to be the vehicle for such actions; We acted in good faith when the producers stated that there were no such incidents of animal cruelty during the filming of the movie. We take these matters seriously and take action if necessary," she furthered.
A meeting with the production team of "Oro" has been scheduled on Monday. As of writing, "Oro" has yet to release a public statement on the matter.
"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.