Cebu's Garcia condemns 'malicious attempt' to malign Carmelite nuns

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 02 2022 10:35 PM

Screengrab from VinCentiments
Screengrab from VinCentiments' YouTube page

MANILA - Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia on Tuesday expressed support for the sisters of Carmelite Monastery in her province after they cried foul over their portrayal in the controversial "Maid in Malacañang" movie.

The nuns earlier Tuesday slammed the scene in the movie that appeared to allude that the late President Corazon Aquino was playing mahjong with them in February 1986 in the midst of a political crisis in the country.

"I stand with the Carmelite nuns of Cebu. And I condemn any malicious attempt to malign them," Garcia said in a statement on Facebook.

In a statement, Sr. Mary Costillas of the Carmelite Monastery said no one from the movie's production consulted them about what happened in 1986, noting that the characters were not wearing their brown religious habit.

“Let it be known that no one responsible for the production of the movie came to us to gather information on what really happened,” Costillas said.

“Any serious scriptwriter or movie director could have shown such elementary diligence before making such movie. After all, many of those nuns in Carmelite Monastery of Cebu 1986 are still very much alive and mentally alert.”

They also called out the mahjong scene as malicious, explaining that they were praying for peace in the country at the time.

“The attempt to distort history is reprehensible. Depicting the nuns as playing mah-jong with Cory Aquino is malicious. It would suggest that while the fate of the country was in peril, we could afford to leisurely play games. The truth was that we were then praying, fasting and making other forms of sacrifices for peace in this country and for the people's choice to prevail,” the statement read. 

The movie director Darryl Yap, a known supporter of the Marcoses, responded to the reaction of the nuns, claiming he sees nothing wrong with playing mahjong as a pastime or friendly game. 

“Maid in Malacañang” stars Cesar Montano and Ruffa Gutierrez as the late President Ferdinand Marcos and former First Lady Imelda Marcos, respectively. 

The movie is said to be about the supposed details of the last three days of the Marcos family at the Palace at the culmination of the EDSA 1986 revolution.

Critics and activists have slammed the move, saying it promotes historical revisionism and disinformation about the Marcos regime's brutal dictatorship.