Erap doesn't want movie about SAF 44

By Jose Rodel Clapano, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 20 2015 08:27 AM | Updated as of Feb 20 2015 04:39 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada does not want his nephew, former Laguna governor ER Ejercito, to do a movie about the 44 slain Special Action Force (SAF) commandos.

In a telephone interview with The STAR, Estrada said their massacre following a shootout in Mamasapano, Maguindanao with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) last Jan. 25 is not a source of pride.

“Why would he do that movie?” he asked. “As a movie actor, I don’t see any good reason to make it as a movie... It could be in bad taste.”

The former president said Ejercito’s plans to do a movie about the SAF 44 is “suicide” for his career as a movie actor and politician, and as a Filipino.

“It’s a waste of money and time,” he said. “The tension is still very high. It will only generate animosity. There is nothing to be proud about the incident. I am very much against it.”

Estrada is a five-time best actor awardee in the prestigious FAMAS award-giving body, where he has been named to the Hall of Fame.

Government peace panel chairman Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said a movie about the SAF 44 will not make everybody happy.

In an interview with Karen Davila on ANC Headstart, Ferrer said careful presentation of the main characters in the massacre last January must be strictly observed.

“Either way, you can’t make everybody happy with that movie,” she said. “So, prudence is very, very important.”

Ferrer said the producers and writers of the upcoming movie must be sensitive to the possible hostility that it might generate once it is shown in movie houses.

“Sensitivity also to the kind of animosity that it might generate, especially since I am negotiating, “ she said. “I’m in this peace process, my main concern would be how you will be depicting Muslims and Moros in this movie.”

Ejercito, whose screen name is George Estregan, has posted on his Facebook account his plans to make a film about the SAF 44.

The film will be directed by Pedring Lopez and will have the subtitle “Para sa Diyos, Para sa Bayan, Para sa Tao.”

The movie will be a fitting tribute to the 44 slain SAF commandos and their sacrifice, Ejercito said.