MANILA — The producer of the controversial film "Oro" said the production team is ready to face charges connected to the scene showing the killing of a dog.
"Handa naman po kami, wala po kaming itatago. Ang nangyayari lang po ngayon sa dami ng nagsasalita, naghahalo na po ang katotohanan at kasinungalingan, at handa po kaming harapin ng complaints sa amin. Kung kailangang ma-fine kami o mabigyan kami ng charges, irerespeto namin pero kailangan po, sabi nga nila, kailangang dumaan sa maayos na proseso at kailangan siyang dalhin sa korte kung kinakailangan," Mark Shandii Bacolod told radio DZMM.
Bacolod also apologized to those who were offended by the slaughter scene.
"Gusto kong humingi ng tawad sa mga taong naging affected sa nangyari," he said.
According to Bacolod, they were merely filming an event in the community, where people usually feast on dog meat.
"Wala po sa production team at sa artista ang nanakit sa aso or pumatay. Ang ina-admit po namin sa aming statement na inilabas ay totoo po na merong buhay na nawala, meron pong aso na namatay sa pelikula pero hindi po kami 'yung pumatay sa aso. We were filming a food fair, a cultural community na gumagawa noon," he said.
Bacolod added that his team didn't realize it was illegal because they saw it as part of local tradition.
"Dahil cultural siya at local... pina-practice po siya ng locals doon eh, hindi po namin naisip na kailangan po ng permit o kailangan ipagpaalam, o isa po itong illegal act dahil normal po sa kanila na kumain ng aso," Bacolod said.
Film Development Council of the Philippines chairperson Liza Diño earlier said the team "lied" to her when they initially said that a goat was killed in place of the dog.
The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), in a statement released on Facebook, has vowed legal action against director Alvin Yapan and his team.
"PAWS is preparing to file criminal case against those who killed the dog and against the people who watched/filmed the crime as it was happening and did nothing to stop it," the group said.
"Oro" has since been stripped of one of its awards amid questions over possible violations of the Animal Welfare Act in the course of its filming.
The Metro Manila Film Festival executive committee has also decided to temporarily withdraw the film from cinemas.