MANILA—A group of film directors mourned the passing of screen icon Eddie Garcia, calling it a “sad and urgent” reminder of the importance of safety protocols on the set of any production.
Garcia, who died aged 90, had been filming a scene in a GMA Network TV series on June 8 when he appeared to trip, resulting in a cervical fracture.
In a statement, GMA said it has been the network’s practice to “have medical personnel and ambulance crew on standby whenever the production is executing big action scenes during taping.”
However, that was not the case on the day of Garcia’s accident.
GMA said it was “investigating the absence of a medical team” at the time, adding that “management is committed to getting to the bottom of this unfortunate incident.”
Garcia passed away Thursday afternoon after nearly 2 weeks in critical condition and in a comatose state.
In a statement, the Directors’ Guild of the Philippines Inc. (DGPI) referred to Garcia’s death as “a sad and urgent reminder to the film and television industries that safety protocols at work and on set are of paramount importance.”
Similarly, actress Judy Ann Santos, in an Instagram post paying tribute to Garcia, said what happened to Garcia could have been prevented.
“Sana sa nangyaring ‘to, maging bukas ang isip ng mga networks sa tamang pag-aalaga, pagbigay ng sapat na kaalaman sa lahat ng taga production pagdating sa mga ganitong sitwasyon. Maaaring naiwasan sana,” she wrote.
DGPI, in its statement, said Garcia is “forever etched in the history of Philippine cinema as one of its greatest actors,” through his outstanding body of work that spans 70 years.
“As well, his masterful contributions as a filmmaker remain provocative, as seen in such film classics as ‘Atsay’ (1976), ‘Magdusa Ka’ (1986), and ‘Imortal’ (1989),” the statement added.
DGPI lauded Garcia’s legacy in Philippine cinema, saying, “His was a long and inspiring career, whose greatness never waned, even as he generously contributed to the national film culture as an actor right up to the age of 90.”
“An iconic giant who will continue to influence generations of actors and filmmakers to come, Eddie Garcia and his immortal legacy shall be missed,” it went on.