1. PEP SPECIAL REPORT: MMFF 2015 SCANDAL
  2. WARRING PARTIES
  3. MMFF 2015 ISSUES IN BRIEF 06/24/2016 4:06 PM
  4. FULL LIST OF PLAYERS 06/22/2016 9:53 PM
  5. THE MMFF 2015 CONTROVERSY
    THAT OPENED PANDORA'S BOX
    06/22/2016 3:03 PM
    1. 1ST ISSUE: DATE OF APPLICATION 06/21/2016 9:11 PM
    2. 2ND ISSUE: REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S NONDISCLOSURE VIOLATION 06/21/2016 9:10 PM
    3. 3RD ISSUE: PROCEDURAL LAPSE 06/21/2016 9:07 PM
    4. 4TH ISSUE: DOMINIC AND MARICHU MEET WITH THE JURORS 06/21/2016 8:40 PM
    5. 5TH ISSUE: SHORT NOTICE OF DISQUALIFICATION 06/21/2016 8:30 PM
    6. 6TH ISSUE: HONOR THY FATHER PARTICIPATES IN HAWAII FILM FEST 06/21/2016 8:20 PM
    7. ONE-DAY-LAST-DAY PRACTICE 06/21/2016 8:10 PM
  6. UNRAVELLING CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN PRODUCERS & MMFF 06/17/2016 7:13 PM
    1. ALLEGED EVIDENCE AGAINST
      ATTY. JOJI ALONSO & DOMINIC DU
      06/16/2016 1:10 AM
    2. QUESTIONABLE FACEBOOK POSTS 06/16/2016 12:09 AM
    3. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF? 06/15/2016 12:31 AM
    4. REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S LINKS
      TO MMFF EXECOM
      06/14/2016 12:39 AM
    5. #WALANGFOREVER PRODUCER:
      "WE DIDN'T CHEAT TO WIN"
      06/13/2016 12:49 AM
    6. CHAIRMAN EMERSON CARLOS ON CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST ISSUE 06/12/2016 12:52 AM
  7. HOW TO DISQUALIFY A MOVIE:
    JURORS TELL CONFLICTING STORIES
    06/12/2016 1:19 PM
  8. MMFF JURORS DENY BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS 06/11/2016 1:50 PM
  9. DOMINIC DU DENIES INVOLVEMENT
    IN TICKET-PRICE ANOMALY
    06/10/2016 12:53 AM

PEP SPECIAL REPORT: MMFF 2015 SCANDAL

WARRING PARTIES

MMFF 2015 ISSUES IN BRIEF

  •  
  • Investigative Report by Jo-Ann Q. Maglipon & Rachelle Siazon / Text by Elvira Mata
  •  

The 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival raked in the most money (P1.01 billion compared to P439 million in 2009), but also generated more heat than usual (last-minute disqualification of Honor Thy Father from best-picture race).

The film’s director, Erik Matti, posted angry messages on Facebook and angrier tweets on Twitter. Film-industry insiders also expressed dismay over HTF's disqualification. Moviegoing netizens took notice and reposted these, eventually turning these sentiments viral and elevating the issue to a scandal.

Laguna Representative Dan Fernandez called for a congressional probe of the 2015 MMFF. Here, "conflict of interest" was raised as an issue. Indeed, it played a central role in the scandal. But, if strictly applied, "conflict of interest" tainted all key players in the scandal, including the very parties who made it an issue.

The congressional meetings, held on January 11 and 13, 2016, and February 18, 2016, led to changes in the yearly film festival. These included the revamp of the powerful MMFF Executive Committee and the formation of a Technical Working Group to draw up rules and regulations for MMFF 2016.

Among the new rules for 2016, the most controversial is the rule requiring all producers to submit completed films to the festival's Screening Committee. In all previous festivals, only completed scripts were required.

Based on the minutes of three congressional meetings and on independent interviews with key industry players, the Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP.ph) runs down the MMFF 2015 issues, in brief:

DATE OF APPLICATION. Honor Thy Father producer Ronald "Dondon" Monteverde said he applied to join the MMFF on June 8, 2015. On June 21, the MMFF announced the eight official entries, and HTF, which ranked ninth, did not make it.

Dondon claimed that the MMFF Execom “invited” HTF to join the MMFF roughly four months later, on October 21. On October 22, Dondon responded positively, and sent the MMFF Execom a signed Certificate of Compliance, effectively saying he was in conformity with all festival rules. One of these rules said that any film joining the festival cannot be shown in any venue other than the MMFF.

On November 3, two MMFF subcommittees discovered that HTF was scheduled to open Cinema One Originals, an ABS-CBN film festival, on November 8, 2015. MMFF Execom Chairman Jesse Ejercito said that Monteverde's failure to disclose this in his October 22 letter was a violation of MMFF 2015's rules.

Producer Dondon, ignoring the issue engendered by his film being in Cinema One Originals, pointed instead to his June 8 letter, saying that this carried with it a signed Certificate of Compliance.

REALITY ENTERTAINMENT’S NONDISCLOSURE VIOLATION. Monteverde and Honor Thy Father director Erik Matti contended that, after HTF was excluded from the Magic 8 on June 21, they began searching for other festivals to exhibit Honor Thy Father in. In September, they showed HTF at the Toronto International Film Festival.

MMFF Execom Chairman Jesse Ejercito argued, however, that on October 21 the MMFF Execom had sent Reality Entertainment a letter saying that the movie Hermano Puli had pulled out of the festival, and that HTFmay be considered as the replacement entry, as they are next in rank.”

Ejercito pointed out that, by October 21, Reality Entertainment should not have entered Honor Thy Father, even as a non-competing opening film, in the Cinema One Originals—a film festival outside the MMFF 2015 and set for November of the same year.

MMFF Execom member Dominic Du added, “They answered back on October 22 saying that they have complied, without mentioning anything about Cinema One Originals festival, which, we are very sure, by that time alam na nila [na papasok sila dun.]”

Dondon countered that this was not a violation of MMFF rules because tickets were not sold and that the event was “by invitation only.” He added that they informed the MMFF Execom a few days before Cinema One Originals opened.

Despite the urgency of the issue, the MMFF Execom failed, from November 6 to December 14, to discuss the nondisclosure violation. Explaining itself, the Execom said that the MMFF was then in the middle of a major transition in its leadership. On October 7, Francis Tolentino, who signified his desire to run for the senate, resigned as chairman of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the MMFF. (Presidential Proclamation 1647 makes the chair of the MMDA automatically the chair of the MMFF.)

In addition, explained the Execom, during the period of November 18-19, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) was held in the country, and the MMDA was charged with facilitating the smooth traffic flow for the international delegates.

PROCEDURAL LAPSE. On December 14, two MMFF committees—the Rules Committee and Special Working Committee—decided to disqualify HTF from the best-picture category. They said they limited the film's disqualification only from that category: (a) in order to penalize only the film's producer; and (b) to give the cast and crew a chance to win awards in other categories.

In other words, Execom member Marichu Maceda said, they did this out of compassion for the artists and technical personnel involved in the film.

Producer Monteverde countered that the decision to disqualify HTF should have been made by the MMFF Execom, not the subcommittees, which were represented in the Lower House Metro Manila Development committee meeting by Marichu Maceda and Dominic Du.

DOMINIC DU AND MARICHU MACEDA MEET WITH JURORS. Maceda and Du met with festival jurors on December 21. At the time, the jurors had just finished screening all entries and were about to start deliberations.

Maceda said she deemed it right that the jurors be informed of Reality Entertainment’s nondisclosure violation, although she was aware that the final decision on the penalty was up to the MMFF Execom, which would not meet until December 26.

From the December 21 meeting there emerged two conflicting stories: Juror Carmen Musngi claimed that Maceda and Du told them that HTF had been disqualified from the best-picture category. Maceda and Du disputed this, claiming they merely informed the jurors about the nondisclosure violation of HTF, which opened the film to disqualification.

Chairman of the Board of Jurors Rowena Capulong-Reyes, for her part, said she asked the jurors to vote on whether or not HTF should be disqualified from the best-picture category. Reyes claimed “80 percent” voted in favor of HTF’s disqualification from that category. Musngi and fellow jurors Paul Resurrecion and Lawrence Javier disputed this. They said they could not remember any formal voting among the jurors.

Maceda admitted that Professor Reyes did not explain the nondisclosure issue to the jurors on the first, second, or third day of the screening, but that Reyes did so just before their deliberations began. “Our reason was that we did not want to pollute the minds of the jury about the disqualification,” Reyes said, “because we wanted them to judge freely as far as the other awards were concerned.”

Musngi and another juror, Arnold Vegafria, said they told Maceda and Du to inform HTF's producers about the disqualification.

SHORT NOTICE OF DISQUALIFICATION. Monteverde was incensed. He said the two subcommittees made the decision to disqualify HTF as early as December 14, yet Reality Entertainment was informed only on December 26, or 12 days after, and less than a day before the MMFF Awards night set for December 27.

“We were not given the courtesy of due process when HTF was disqualified in the best picture category,” the producer smarted.

Based on MMFF rules, a producer had 10 days to file a formal complaint against a decision.

MMFF Overall Chairman Carlos disclosed that he learned about HTF’s nondisclosure violation only on December 25, and immediately called for an emergency meeting on December 26. He agreed that the two subcommittees should have informed him earlier about this “vital issue.” But, he said, he was backing the decision to disqualify HTF, making the decision unanimous.

Maceda later admitted that HTF should have been disqualified much earlier from all categories: “Looking back, I think we should have disqualified it totally from the very start.”

HTF’S PARTICIPATION IN ANOTHER FESTIVAL. The MMFF Execom accused Reality Entertainment of also failing to disclose that it exhibited HTF at the Hawaii International Film Festival on November 14 and 18, 2015.

But Monteverde argued again that he submitted a Certificate of Compliance with his June 8 letter, when his camp first applied applied to MMFF. Moreover, he argued, if HTF was supposed to be disqualified based on the nondisclosure of participation in Cinema One Originals, why was the MMFF bringing up the Hawaii film festival? “Huwag na tayong mag-dwell dun sa iba, just the facts,” Monteverde said, piqued.

Chairman Carlos did not find Monteverde's argument sound. He countered: “At the time na ni-receive namin ang application, there was already an acceptance, there was already a promise on your part, that you will not join any other festival. Otherwise, had you so stated, we could have picked another. We could have advised you.”

The MMFF subcommittees said they also discovered later that tickets were sold in both the Toronto and Hawaii film festivals, constituting another violation, this time of the MMFF rule prohibiting entries from commercially exhibiting locally or abroad.

DISQUALIFYING HTF FROM THE BEST-PICTURE CATEGORY AFFECTED ITS BOX OFFICE POTENTIAL. According to Monteverde, when a film won best picture, it stood to earn more at the box office.

Maceda disagreed, citing examples: “For the record, winning the best picture is no guarantee that it will translate into a box-office [hit]. In our experience in the past five years, nanalo ang Asiong Salonga [2011], Best Picture, did it improve [at the box office]? No.

“Nanalo ang 10,000 hours [2013], starring Robin Padilla, directed by Bb. Joyce Bernal. Did it improve? No.

"Nanalo ang Bonifacio [2014]. It was a beautiful movie. But did it improve in the box office? No.”

ONE–DAY-LAST-DAY PRACTICE. Reality Entertainment had another complaint, this time about Dominic Du, the chairman of the Sales and Playdate Monitoring Committee of MMFF 2015. Monteverde alleged that if a movie had low sales on its first day, it was quickly replaced by Du with a commercial movie the next day.

Du denied that this was his doing, explaining that there was a strict process followed when pulling out a film and replacing it with another. This process began with a written request from the theater owner (or representative) addressed to the Sales and Playdate Monitoring Committee to change the film. This was followed by the theater owner (or representative) and the producer (or representative), with Committee chair Du, signing a document of “conformity.” Only then, Du said, was the change finally effected.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST. Monteverde also took issue with Quantum Films producer Atty. Josabeth “Joji” Alonso, whom he accused of using her connection to Dominic Du, to: (a) disqualify HTF from the best-picture category; and (b) get more theater bookings for her films #WalangForever and Buy Now Die Later.

Aside from holding the post of chair of the Sales and Playdate Monitoring Committee, Du held two other positions in the 2015 MMFF. He was a Selection Committee member and the Rules Committee vice-chairman. Outside the MMFF, Du is president of the Motion Picture Anti Film Piracy Council (MPAFPC) and booking coordinator for the National Cinema Association of The Philippines (NCAP).

Interestingly, while Du is president of the anti-piracy council, the latter’s chairman of the board is Dondon’s father, Leonardo "Remy" Monteverde.

Joji Alonso did not deny that she is currently the lawyer of the Motion Picture Anti Film Piracy Council. This, she said, constituted her whole association with Du and, it could be said, with Dondon's father.

She also pointed out that if Du was supposed to be her partner and was charged with ensuring that her films had strong theater booking, then he failed, she said. Buy Now Die Later, according to the lawyer-producer, was shown in “only 18 theaters” and grossed “a mere P20 million.”

For her part, MMFF’s Maceda pointed out that since Dondon brought up the issue of conflict of interest, then he also had to account for his association with Laguna Representative Dan Fernandez. The latter initiated the congressional probe, but he was also in the cast of HTF. “Where’s his delicadeza?” Maceda asked.

ALLEGED PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN ATTY. JOJI ALONSO AND DOMINIC DU. At the congressional probe, Representative Fernandez presented evidence to show the connection between the lawyer and the booker. The first was a legal letter, dated April 10, 2014, written by Atty. Joji on behalf of her “client,” Dominic Du, addressed to the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) Director General Leo Martinez.

The FAP had sued the MMFF, which included Du as chair of the booking committee. The FAP had mistakenly assumed that Du headed NCAP; in fact, Du held the position of booking coordinator of NCAP. The letter was a FAP complaint against the MMFF for alleged non-remittance of festival proceeds. Atty. Alonso said her legal letter was written on behalf of the NCAP and Du.

The second evidence that Representative Fernandez presented were screenshots of Facebook posts of Axinite, a company co-owned by Du, which promoted Atty. Joji’s films #WalangForever and Buy Now Die Later. Since other MMFF entries were not promoted in Axinite’s Facebook, concluded Fernandez, Du was the “distributor” of Atty. Alonso’s films.

Du denied the lawmaker’s accusation, saying that Axinite distributed only foreign films. Also, he categorically denied funding Atty. Alonso's films. However, he had no explanation for Atty. Alonso’s films finding their way to Axinite’s Facebook account.

Atty. Alonso confirmed with PEP that Dominic did not fund her films, revealing that her major investor was businessman Fernando Ortigas.

REALITY ENTERTAINMENT’S LINKS TO MMFF EXECOM. While the congressional meetings sought to prove “conflict of interest” in the association between Atty. Joji Alonso and Dominic Du, they turned a blind eye to the same “conflict of interest” involving Dondon Monteverde and MMFF Execom member Marcus Ng.

Marcus Ng is a partner in Post Manila, a post-production company owned by Dondon Monteverde; and Ng Meng Tam, the father of Marcus, is an incorporator and shareholder at Regal Entertainment, a company owned by Dondon’s mother, Lily Monteverde, and in which Dondon has major shares.

Also buried in the 2015 MMFF brouhaha is that Regal Films and Reality Entertainment have had a long-standing relationship with the MMFF. Ng Meng Tam was an MMFF Execom member for many years, while his son Marcus has been a member of the MMFF Execom since 2006 up to the present and was also a member of 2015 MMFF Selection Committee.

MMFF RULES KEEP CHANGING. In 2004, producer Atty. Joji submitted the movie Minsan Pa to the MMFF, but her film did not make it to the eight official entries. She complained to the MMFF Execom, which had allowed Regal Films to submit four films, despite the MMFF ruling that year that every film company could submit only two entries.

Atty. Alonso said a group composed of Ric Camaligan, Wilson Tieng, Dominic Du, and two others convinced her not to push through with her complaints against the MMFF. Coincidentally, Tieng and Camaligan were jurors in the 2004 MMFF.

“At the time, at the back of my mind,” Atty. Alonso narrated to PEP, “there’s a mafia here somewhere.” She said she decided not to pursue her complaint because this would have resulted in the cancellation of the 2004 MMFF and the showing of foreign films during the lucrative Christmas season. “I would not do that. I would not allow myself to be used by any foreign distribution company to stop the MMFF,” she added.

Learning from the experience, the MMFF the next year set no limit to the number of entries a film outfit could submit.

Dondon Monteverde, for his part, bolstered his argument against the MMFF by citing the example of Brillante Mendoza’s Thy Womb. The film had been exhibited in international festivals before it became an official 2012 MMFF entry. At the time, Star Cinema’s Malou Santos protested to the MMFF Execom, but nothing came of her complaint. In 2012, the MMFF rules did not exclude films already exhibited in other film fests. Monteverde pointed out that Wilson Tieng, head of Solar Entertainment and distributor of Thy Womb, was in the MMFF Execom.

In other words, he complained, MMFF changed its rules all the time.

Atty. Joji Alonso, short of naming names, said that she became a target because she was seen as a threat. “This did not come from me. This came from indie filmmakers,” she said. “They said [I was hit] because…I am considered a threat, and I am destroying the balance.”

Quantum Films, Atty. Joji's film production company, is relatively young at 12 years, but has been carving for itself a reputation for producing quality films, on modest budgets, that earn at the box office.

She said the big industry players did not like that.

.

  1. TIMELINE
  2. WARRING PARTIES
  3. MMFF 2015 ISSUES IN BRIEF
  4. FULL LIST OF PLAYERS
  5. THE MMFF 2015 CONTROVERSY
    THAT OPENED PANDORA'S BOX
    1. 1ST ISSUE: DATE OF APPLICATION
    2. 2ND ISSUE: REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S NONDISCLOSURE VIOLATION
    3. 3RD ISSUE: PROCEDURAL LAPSE
    4. 4TH ISSUE: DOMINIC AND MARICHU MEET WITH THE JURORS
    5. 5TH ISSUE: SHORT NOTICE OF DISQUALIFICATION
    6. 6TH ISSUE: HONOR THY FATHER PARTICIPATES IN HAWAII FILM FEST
    7. ONE-DAY-LAST-DAY PRACTICE
  6. UNRAVELLING CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN PRODUCERS & MMFF
    1. ALLEGED EVIDENCE AGAINST
      ATTY. JOJI ALONSO & DOMINIC DU
    2. QUESTIONABLE FACEBOOK POSTS
    3. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF?
    4. REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S LINKS
      TO MMFF EXECOM
    5. #WALANGFOREVER PRODUCER:
      "WE DIDN'T CHEAT TO WIN"
    6. CHAIRMAN EMERSON CARLOS ON CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST ISSUE
  7. HOW TO DISQUALIFY A MOVIE:
    JURORS TELL CONFLICTING STORIES
  8. MMFF JURORS DENY BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS
  9. DOMINIC DU DENIES INVOLVEMENT
    IN TICKET-PRICE ANOMALY

FULL LIST OF PLAYERS

  •  
  • Investigative Report by Jo-Ann Q. Maglipon & Rachelle Siazon
  •  

I. THE 2015 MMFF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

ATTY. EMERSON CARLOS. He was appointed MMDA Chairman and MMFF Over-all Chairman on October 31, 2015, a few weeks after Francis Tolentino resigned as MMDA Chairman because of plans to run for senator in the 2016 elections.

Chairman Carlos presided over the December 26 meeting when the 2015 MMFF Execom members “unanimously” decided to disqualify Honor Thy Father from the best-picture category.

JESSE EJERCITO. As executive chairman of the 2015 MMFF Execom, he was the signatory of the October 21, 2015 letter that informed Reality Entertainment that Conman (former title of Honor Thy Father) “may be considered” as an entry to the festival.

Ejercito was also the signatory of the October 23, 2015 letter officially receiving Reality Entertainment’s Certificate of Compliance.

Ejercito was also the chairman of the Special Working Committee and a member of the Rules Committee.

DOMINIC DU. Aside from being an Execom member, Du was appointed chairman of the Sales and Playdate Monitoring Committee and vice-chairman of the Rules and Legal Affairs Committee. He is also a member of the Special Working Committee and the Selection Committee.

Du was named by Laguna Representative Dan Fernandez as the alleged distributor of #WalangForever and Buy Now Die Later, the 2015 MMFF entries produced by Atty. Josabeth "Joji" Alonso.

Du, however, categorically denied the allegations during the Congress meetings and in interviews with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal).

Du also presented pertinent documents debunking accusations that he controlled the lifespan of a film entry during the festival period.

MARICHU VERA PEREZ MACEDA. A member of the 2015 MMFF Execom, she testified in the Congress meetings that two MMFF sub-committees (Special Working Committee and Rules Committee) recommended the exclusion from the best-picture category of Honor Thy Father for violating the nondisclosure rules of the festival.

In separate interviews with PEP, Maceda questioned Laguna Representative Dan Fernandez’s lack of delicadeza, as the latter initiated the Congress probe despite the fact that he was a cast member of Honor Thy Father.

II. PRODUCERS

RONALD "DONDON" MONTEVERDE During the January 11, 2016 Congress meeting, Dondondecried the lack of due process in the disqualification of Honor Thy Father, saying his camp was informed a mere 24 hours before the MMFF Awards night.

He also asked if there could be a “hidden agenda and conflict of interest” in the MMFF Execom that “could have contributed to the questionable, last-minute disqualification” of Honor Thy Father.

ERIK MATTI. As director and co-producer of Honor Thy Father, Erik tweeted about the film’s “unfair” disqualification and the alleged conflict of interest involving festival organizers and producers, which, he alleged, affected the MMFF Awards.

In the January 11 Congress meeting, Erik again enumerated these complaints, saying there was “unfair trade practice” in determining the theatrical run of film entries.

ATTY. JOSABETH "JOJI" ALONSO. Atty. Joji Alonso is the owner of Quantum Films, the film outfit that produced #WalangForever and Buy Now Die Later.In an exclusive interview with PEP, Atty. Joji, who had not made a comment throughout the period of the brouhaha, broke her silence and refuted the allegations against her.

Atty. Joji categorically denied having any business partnership with 2015 MMFF Execom member Dominic Du.

She clarified that what she had was a lawyer-client relationship with Du and the National Cinema Association of the Philippines (NCAP), in which Du is the booking coordinator.

III. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

DAN FERNANDEZ. The Laguna first district representative and Honor Thy Father cast member filed House Resolution No. 2581, seeking an investigation on alleged irregularities in the 2015 MMFF.

One of his primary complaints was the alleged lack of due process in the disqualification of Honor Thy Fatherfrom the best-picture race—a disqualification announced 24 hours before the awards night.

He alleged that 2015 MMFF Execom member Dominic Du had an anomalous connection with Quantum Films producer Atty. Joji Alonso.

Representative Fernandez said in the January 11 meeting: “Mr. Dominic, don’t you think it is improper for you being a member of the executive committee, a powerful committee in the MMFF, promoting the movie ng Quantum Films na #WalangForever? It is in your Facebook under the Axinite Digicinema which you are an incorporator? I would like to ask Chairman Carlos para malaman natin kung si Dominic Du po ba ay na-screen ng ating chairman. Kasi the qualification, kailangan wala kang association, wala kang relasyon by affinity or consanguinity…”

In the January 13 Congress meeting, Representative Fernandez proposed the creation of a technical working group (TWG) to draw up new rules governing MMFF 2016.

WINSTON CASTELO. The Quezon City second district representative was the chair of the Metro Manila Development (MMD) House Committee, which was tasked to handle committee meetings on alleged irregularities in the 2015 MMFF.

JOHNNY REVILLA. OFW Family Party List representative and member of the MMD Committee who interpellated MMFF Execom member MarichuMaceda.

Representative Revilla said in the January 11 meeting:“If the movie was pre-selected, the movie was qualified to enter the MMFF. Still up to this time, I sit here and I still cannot understand why it was disqualified when there was disclosure. They did tell you in November 5 in a letter, and we have a copy of the letter, that said they were in Cinema One. You had all that time, you could have disqualified them then and there, if you want to. And yet you waited until it becomes this whole thing. And you haven’t been able to answer that. I feel that we should really sit down and vote on this already and move on to the next topic because it is an injustice what you did to the film, basically.”

ALFRED VARGAS. Quezon City fifth district representative who denounced the alleged lack of due process in the disqualification of Honor Thy Father from the best-picture category.

Representative Vargas said: “The fact that they were told on December 21 na disqualified naangHonor Thy Father, way before nung [December] 26 Execom meeting, e, napakalaking question mark poyun. I see bias painted all over. I see injustice painted all over.”

LITO ATIENZA Buhay Party List representative who zeroed in on the alleged influence of MMFF Execom member Dominic Du for personal benefit.

Representative Atienza said in the January 13 Congress meeting: “Unless we reform the festival rules, akongayonponagsasabinadiakomagmimiyembrong Du festival. Ganitopoangnangyayari, lumalabasangkototohanannayung film festival ay kontroladoponi Mr. Du. So I move that we now terminate the discussion of Honor Thy Father. And go deeper into the problems of the festival so that we may craft a law that will reform the film festival.”

TERRY RIDON. Kabataan Party List representative who questioned the lack of due process in the disqualification of Honor Thy Father.

He said in the January 11 Congress meeting: “Peromakikitanatindito, yungmgatao, hinditalagabinibigyanng level playing field ditosalabanan, kung sinodapatmaging best picture ditosanagdaang MMFF. Dapat ho bigyannghustisyangkomite, hindilangyungmgapelikulakundiyungmganagtataguyodngpelikulang Pilipino.”

NERI COLMENARES. Bayan Muna Party List representative who criticized the MMFF Execom for its last-minute disqualification of Honor Thy Father.

He also said there was “prejudice” in Marichu Maceda and Dominic Du’s announcement to the jurors of Honor Thy Father’s disqualification, without first convening with the entire MMFF Execom.

EMIL ONG. Northern Samar second district representative who manifested that he would support a legislative act creating a nationwide film festival.

GUS TAMBUNTING. Paranaque representative who said there was a lack of due process in the disqualification of Honor Thy Father.

He said in the January 11 Congress meeting: “Angnakikitakopotalagang issue, correct me if I am wrong, yung due process, nahinditalagabinigyanngtsansa. Puwede mo palai-decide ahead dahilang jurors sinabihanna, disqualified na ‘yan. Dapat dun pa langsinabihannatalagahindina kayo kasamaparamakapag-apela. At yunangikinakagalitng producer.”

IV. 2015 BOARD OF JURORS.

ROWENA CAPULONG-REYES. In the January 13 Congress meeting, Professor Reyes manifested that "eight percent" of the jurors voted to disqualify Honor Thy Father for best-picture category.

According to her, this occurred after MMFF Execom members Marichu Maceda and Dominic Du informed the jurors about Honor Thy Father's nondisclosure violation.

CARMEN MUSNGI. In the January 11 Congress meeting, Carmen Musngi manifested that MMFF Execom members MarichuMaceda and Dominic Du instructed jurors to disqualify Honor Thy Father from the best-picture category.

Musngi also stated, in a separate interview with PEP, that she could not recall the jurors holding a votationon whether to disqualifyHonor Thy Fatheror not.

She reiterated that only the MMFF Execom, sitting en banc, had the power to decide crucial issues involving the festival entries.

ARNOLD VEGAFRIA. In an exclusive interview with PEP, the talent manager and PR practitioner said that he and the other jurors were told that Honor Thy Father was being disqualified in the best-picture category because its producers violated the nondisclosure rule.

But he refuted talk that one producer allegedly gave jurors money envelopes and laptops to sway them into voting for a particular entry.

V. BENEFICIARIES

FILM ACADEMY OF THE PHILIPPINES. Twenty percent of the festival proceeds goes to FAP.

Leo Martinez, director general of FAP, revealed that proceeds from the festival have been dwindling over the years, and have not been reaching their intended beneficiaries on time. He held the MMFF responsible and called for an accounting of festival proceeds.

MOWELFUND. The Movie Workers Welfare Foundation is the primary beneficiary of MMFF proceeds, with a 50-percent share. Boots Anson-Roa, president of Mowelfund, clarified that Mowelfund has not—and has no plans—to file a complaint against the MMFF Execom’s manner of distributing the proceeds in tranches.

MOTION PICTURE ANTI FILM PIRACY COUNCIL. MPAFPC gets 20 percent from the total MMFF proceeds. The organization is headed by Dominic Du as president and Remy Monteverde as chairman

OPTICAL MEDIA BOARD. OMB gets five percent from festival proceeds. It is chaired by Ronnie Rickets, who was suspended following a graft complaint against him in January 2016. Its new chairman, Atty. Anselmo Adriano, was appointed last March.

FILM DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL OF THE PHILIPPINES. FDCP gets five percent from festival proceeds. It is headed by Briccio Santos as chairman and Teodoro Granados as executive director III.

VI. 2016 MMFF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS

In an interview with PEP on April 11, 2016, MMDA Chairman Carlos said the appointment of the Execom members of the 2016 MMFF was based on Metro Manila Commission Executive Order 86-09, as well as recommendations of the Metro Manila Development House Committee’s technical working group (TWG).

  1. TIMELINE
  2. WARRING PARTIES
  3. MMFF 2015 ISSUES IN BRIEF
  4. FULL LIST OF PLAYERS
  5. THE MMFF 2015 CONTROVERSY
    THAT OPENED PANDORA'S BOX
    1. 1ST ISSUE: DATE OF APPLICATION
    2. 2ND ISSUE: REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S NONDISCLOSURE VIOLATION
    3. 3RD ISSUE: PROCEDURAL LAPSE
    4. 4TH ISSUE: DOMINIC AND MARICHU MEET WITH THE JURORS
    5. 5TH ISSUE: SHORT NOTICE OF DISQUALIFICATION
    6. 6TH ISSUE: HONOR THY FATHER PARTICIPATES IN HAWAII FILM FEST
    7. ONE-DAY-LAST-DAY PRACTICE
  6. UNRAVELLING CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN PRODUCERS & MMFF
    1. ALLEGED EVIDENCE AGAINST
      ATTY. JOJI ALONSO & DOMINIC DU
    2. QUESTIONABLE FACEBOOK POSTS
    3. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF?
    4. REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S LINKS
      TO MMFF EXECOM
    5. #WALANGFOREVER PRODUCER:
      "WE DIDN'T CHEAT TO WIN"
    6. CHAIRMAN EMERSON CARLOS ON CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST ISSUE
  7. HOW TO DISQUALIFY A MOVIE:
    JURORS TELL CONFLICTING STORIES
  8. MMFF JURORS DENY BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS
  9. DOMINIC DU DENIES INVOLVEMENT
    IN TICKET-PRICE ANOMALY

THE MMFF 2015 CONTROVERSY
THAT OPENED PANDORA'S BOX

  •  
  • Investigative Report by Jo-Ann Q. Maglipon & Rachelle Siazon
  •  

Ang 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) ang may pinakamalaking kinita sa takilya at siya ring pinakatadtad ng kontrobersiya sa kasaysayan ng taunang film fest.

Mula sa total box-office gross na P439,550,979.30 noong 2009 ay record-breaking ang halagang P1,018,106,945.90 na kinita ng MMFF nitong nakaraang 2015.

Sa kabila nito, MMFF 2015 nang pumutok ang kontrobersiya hinggil sa diumano'y maanomalyang diskwalipikasyon ng pelikulang Honor Thy Father.

Nauwi ito sa hindi inaasahang imbestigasyon ng Kongreso laban sa pamunuan ng MMFF.

Hanggang sa kaliit-liitang detalye—ang pagpili ng genre ng official entries at ang proseso ng pagpapalabas ng official entries sa mga sinehan—ay inireklamo sa Kongreso.

Dito rin nabunyag ang sanga-sangang koneksiyon ng key industry players sa isyu ng "conflict of interest."

Sa huli, base sa rekomendasyon ng Kongreso, nagkakaroon ng malalaking pagbabago sa taunang film festival.

Kung makakabuti para sa industriya at sa publiko ang mga pagbabagong ito ay malalaman pa lamang sa darating na pagdaraos ng MMFF 2016 nitong Disyembre.

Sinimulan ito sa pagsibak sa puwesto sa ilang miyembro ng MMFF Executive Committee (Execom) at ang pagkakaroon ng mga bagong alituntunin para sa MMFF 2016.

Napagkayarian ding mas bibigyang importansiya umano ang "artistic" merits ng isang entry.

Taliwas ito sa nakagawian ng mga nakaraang taon, kung saan "commercial viability" ang may pinakamataas na porsiyento sa criteria ng pagpili ng film fest entries.

PEP.PH INVESTIGATES. Kaugnay ng samu't saring kontrobersiya ng MMFF 2015, nagsagawa ng sariling investigative report ang Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP.ph) mula Enero hanggang Abril nitong 2016.

Ito ay sa pamamagitan ng, una, pakikipagpanayam sa lahat ng key industry players sa MMFF; pangalawa, pagkalap at pagsuri ng mga importanteng dokumentong may kinalaman sa imbestigasyon; at pangatlo, pagdalo sa tatlong isinagawang Congress committee meetings hinggil sa mga inihaing reklamo sa MMFF 2015.

Sa special report na ito ng PEP, tatalakayin ang naging ugat ng mga kontrobersiya sa 2015 MMFF.

Nagsimula ito sa reklamo ng Reality Entertainment, isang movie company, laban sa pamunuan ng 2015 MMFF matapos madiskwalipika ang pelikula nitong Honor Thy Father sa best-picture category ng MMFF 2015 Awards Night.

Mas kilala marahil ang Honor Thy Father, o HTF, bilang pelikulang pinagbidahan ng matinee idol na si John Lloyd Cruz.

Ang diskwalipikasyon ang naging mitsa ng tinagurian ng Reality Entertainment na "MMFF 2015 scandal."

Kasabay nito ay naungkat ang komposisyon ng pamunuan ng MMFF at ang sanga-sangang kumplikasyon na dala nito, hindi lang noong 2015, kundi pati na rin sa iba pang nagdaang festivals.

WHO ARE INVOLVED? Ang pangunahing complainants ay sina Ronald "Dondon" Monteverde at Erik Matti, co-producers ng Honor Thy Father, sa ilalim ng pag-aari nilang production outfit na Reality Entertainment.

Bilang direktor din ng naturang pelikula, si Erik ang unang tahasang nagsiwalat ng diumano'y maanomalyang pagdiskwalipika sa Honor Thy Father.

Ang diskwalipikasyon ay nangyari isang araw bago ginanap ang MMFF Awards Night ng December 27, 2015.

Ilang linggo matapos ng MMFF Awards Night, nanguna si Laguna Representative Dan Fernandez sa pagsumite ng resolusyon upang magkaroon ng imbestigasyon sa Kongreso hinggil sa diumano'y iregularidad sa pamunuan ng 2015 MMFF.

(L-R): Erik Matti, Dondon Monteverde, and Laguna First District Representative Dan Fernandez

Lamang, si Representative Fernandez ay cast member ng Honor Thy Father.

Ganunpaman, pinangunahan ni Representative Fernandez ang interpolasyon sa Congressional meetings.

Base sa recorded minutes ng tatlong Congressional meetings, isinailalim ni Representative Fernandez sa mainit na question-and-answer ang ilang miyembro ng MMFF Executive Committee (Execom).

Kasama sa mga ininterpellate ay sina: sa unang meeting, Marichu Vera Perez-Maceda; sa una at pangalawang meeting, Dominic Du; at sa lahat ng tatlong meeting, Jesse Ejercito.

Kasama rin sa mga inimbestigahan, sa tatlong meetings, si Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman at MMFF Over-All Chairman Emerson Carlos at ilang miyembro ng kanyang staff.

(L-R): 2015 MMFF Execom members Dominic Du, Marichu Maceda, and Jesse Ejercito

Naging key player din sa MMFF 2015 scandal si Atty. Josabeth "Joji" Alonso, prodyuser ng dalawang MMFF 2015 entries na #WalangForever at Buy Now Die Later.

Bilang may-ari ng Quantum Films, na siyang nagprodyus ng dalawang nasabing pelikula, itinurong kasabwat diumano si Atty. Joji ng MMFF official na si Dominic Du.

Quantum Films producer Atty. Joji Alonso

PEP.ph SPEAKS TO KEY PLAYERS. Sinimulang imbestigahan ng PEP ang mga pangyayari—mula sa pagpili ng MMFF 2015 entries hanggang sa pagputok ng MMFF scandal—noong Enero 11, 2016, ang petsa ng unang Congressional meeting.

Ayon kay Dondon, malinaw na walang sapat na "due process," at hindi makatarungan, ang pagdiskwalipika sa Honor Thy Father sa best-picture category sa MMFF Awards.

Giit ni Dondon, sa eksklusibong panayam ng PEP: "Sabi ko nga sa [Tonight With] Boy Abunda, kung para kay Marichu, tingin niya maliit na bagay na sinanctionan niya ng [disqualification for] best picture, e, mali 'yon.

"E, 'yon yung pinakamabigat na category, e, best picture. Baliktad ang pananaw niya.

"Lahat ng nagtrabaho sa isang pelikula, ibinigay nila lahat para maka-create ng best picture, di ba?

"Yung sinasabi niyang light, sana sinanctionan niya na kami, idisqualify na kami sa best float o sa best something, di ba?"

HOW HONOR THY FATHER GOT IN. Pinagmulan ng matinding argumento sa pagitan ng kampo ng Reality Entertainment at MMFF Execom ang date of application ng Honor Thy Father.

Noong June 8, 2015, nag-apply ang Reality Entertainment upang maging official entry sa MMFF 2015.

Ito ay sa pamamagitan ng pagsumite ng script ng Honor Thy Father—formerly titled Conman—at iba pang requirements.

Bida at co-producer din ng pelikula ang Kapamilya actor na si John Lloyd Cruz.

Hindi nakapasok ang Honor Thy Father sa film fest. Ito ay naging "ninth in rank," ayon kay MMFF Execom Chair Jesse Ejercito, sa 21 scripts na dumaan sa screening process ng MMFF Selection Committee.

Walo lamang ang official entries.

Movie still from Honor Thy Father with John Lloyd Cruz as lead star/co-producer

May isang linggo ang MMFF Selection Committee—na may bilang na 14 members na pinangunahan ni Josefina Faulan, Assistant General Manager for Planning ng MMDA—upang basahin ang 21 scripts na isinumite ng iba't ibang production outfits.

Umaga ng June 21, 2015 nang magpulong ang naturang komite para sa deliberasyon sa pagpili ng walong official MMFF 2015 entries.

Sa mismong araw ding iyon ginanap ang press conference, kung saan inanunsiyo, ng noo'y MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino, ang napiling walong MMFF entries na ipalalabas mula Disyembre 25, 2015 hanggang Enero 4, 2016.

Kabilang dito ang Beauty and The Bestie; Buy Now Die Later (original title: Death and Senses); Haunted Mansion; Hermano Puli; All You Need Is Pag-ibig (original title Mr. and Mrs. Split); Nilalang; My Bebe Love (original title: Rom-comin Mo Ako); at #WalangForever.

  1. TIMELINE
  2. WARRING PARTIES
  3. MMFF 2015 ISSUES IN BRIEF
  4. FULL LIST OF PLAYERS
  5. THE MMFF 2015 CONTROVERSY
    THAT OPENED PANDORA'S BOX
    1. 1ST ISSUE: DATE OF APPLICATION
    2. 2ND ISSUE: REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S NONDISCLOSURE VIOLATION
    3. 3RD ISSUE: PROCEDURAL LAPSE
    4. 4TH ISSUE: DOMINIC AND MARICHU MEET WITH THE JURORS
    5. 5TH ISSUE: SHORT NOTICE OF DISQUALIFICATION
    6. 6TH ISSUE: HONOR THY FATHER PARTICIPATES IN HAWAII FILM FEST
    7. ONE-DAY-LAST-DAY PRACTICE
  6. UNRAVELLING CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN PRODUCERS & MMFF
    1. ALLEGED EVIDENCE AGAINST
      ATTY. JOJI ALONSO & DOMINIC DU
    2. QUESTIONABLE FACEBOOK POSTS
    3. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF?
    4. REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S LINKS
      TO MMFF EXECOM
    5. #WALANGFOREVER PRODUCER:
      "WE DIDN'T CHEAT TO WIN"
    6. CHAIRMAN EMERSON CARLOS ON CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST ISSUE
  7. HOW TO DISQUALIFY A MOVIE:
    JURORS TELL CONFLICTING STORIES
  8. MMFF JURORS DENY BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS
  9. DOMINIC DU DENIES INVOLVEMENT
    IN TICKET-PRICE ANOMALY

1ST ISSUE: DATE OF APPLICATION

  •  
  • Investigative Report by Jo-Ann Q. Maglipon & Rachelle Siazon
  •  

Apat na buwan matapos ianunsiyo ang official entries ng MMFF 2015, umatras ang Hermano Puli dahil hindi kayang tapusin ang produksyon nito in time for the festival.

Bilang MMFF Execom chairman, nagpadala si Jesse Ejercito kay Ronald "Dondon" Monteverde ng sulat na nagsasabing ang pelikulang Conman “may be considered” bilang kapalit ng Hermano Puli.

Importante kay Jesse Ejercito ang mga katagang "may be considered," na ginamit niya sa sulat, dahil ang ibig sabihin nito ay bukas ang MMFF sa "posibleng pagsali" ng Conman.

Wala raw sinasabi sa sulat niya na kasali na ang Conman.

Sa eksklusibong panayam ng PEP, iginiit ni Ejercito na nakasaad din sa October 21, 2015 letter ng MMFF Execom na kailangang magsumite ang Reality Entertainment ng Certificate of Compliance upang makapasok ang Conman sa film festival.

Narito ang kopya ng sulat ni Jesse Ejercito:

Base sa MMFF Rules and Regulations of Rule II Section 3 (e), ang bawat participating producer ay kailangang magsumite ng “notarized affidavit” o tinatawag na Certificate of Compliance.

Ito ay nagpapatunay na hindi pa naipapalabas ang isang film entry maliban sa MMFF.

Nakapaloob din ditong susundin ng prodyuser ang lahat ng governing rules and regulations ng festival.

Paliwanag ni Ejercito sa PEP, na siya ring nakapaloob sa MMFF position paper na isinumite niya sa Kongreso:

“Note that Reality submitted the requirements on June 2015. It is therefore correct to say that Reality was compliant up to then.

“However, from June 2015 up to the time Honor Thy Father was automatically considered for inclusion on 21 October 2015, the MMFF could not have known whether Honor Thy Father was slated to be shown in a film festival other than the MMFF.

“This is the reason behind MMFF’s request for a Certification that it has complied with all the rules.

“In other words, Reality should have disclosed to the MMFF on 22 October 2015 that Honor Thy Father will be shown in Cinema One [Originals, an indie film fest].”

CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE. Kaugnay nito, October 22 nang magsumite si Dondon Monteverde sa MMFF Execom ng Certificate of Compliance na patunay na sinunod ng Reality Entertainment ang lahat ng “existing MMFF Rules and Regulations” ng festival.

Ang kopya ng sulat ni Dondon ay narito:

Matapos nito, pormal na inaprubahan ng MMFF Execom noong October 23—sa pamamagitan ng sulat na pirmado ni Jesse Ejercito—ang pagpasok ng Honor Thy Father bilang isa sa walong official entries ng MMFF 2015.

Nakalap ng PEP ang palitan ng October 21 to 23 letters ng MMFF Execom at Reality Entertainment.

Malinaw na nakasaad sa October 23 letter ng MMFF Execom na tinatanggap nito ang Honor Thy Father “upon receipt of your letter certifying that your film has complied with all the MMFF Rules and Regulations.”

Narito ang sulat ng October 23:

Nang pumutok na ang iskandalo, depensa ng kampo ng Reality Entertainment: Noong Oktubre 23, ang pagsulat ng MMFF Execom ay pag-imbita sa Reality Entertainment upang sumali; hindi sila nag-apply.

Sa paliwanag ni Dondon sa PEP: "We actually applied for the film festival last June 8, ‘yong first application [namin]." Dagdag paliwanag ni Direk Erik Matti: "But ‘yong pinatawag nila kami noong October, they invited us again."

Ayon naman sa legal counsel ng Reality Entertainment, si Atty. Agnes Maranan, nang humarap ito sa unang Congressional meeting tungkol sa MMFF: Ang date of application ng Honor Thy Father ay June 8, kung kailan lahat daw ng requirement ng festival ay naipasa ng kanilang kampo.

Ipinawalang-bahala niya ang relevance ng October 23 MMFF letter: "We never asked to be included again. We did not beg na isama niyo naman po ang Honor Thy Father."

  1. TIMELINE
  2. WARRING PARTIES
  3. MMFF 2015 ISSUES IN BRIEF
  4. FULL LIST OF PLAYERS
  5. THE MMFF 2015 CONTROVERSY
    THAT OPENED PANDORA'S BOX
    1. 1ST ISSUE: DATE OF APPLICATION
    2. 2ND ISSUE: REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S NONDISCLOSURE VIOLATION
    3. 3RD ISSUE: PROCEDURAL LAPSE
    4. 4TH ISSUE: DOMINIC AND MARICHU MEET WITH THE JURORS
    5. 5TH ISSUE: SHORT NOTICE OF DISQUALIFICATION
    6. 6TH ISSUE: HONOR THY FATHER PARTICIPATES IN HAWAII FILM FEST
    7. ONE-DAY-LAST-DAY PRACTICE
  6. UNRAVELLING CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN PRODUCERS & MMFF
    1. ALLEGED EVIDENCE AGAINST
      ATTY. JOJI ALONSO & DOMINIC DU
    2. QUESTIONABLE FACEBOOK POSTS
    3. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF?
    4. REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S LINKS
      TO MMFF EXECOM
    5. #WALANGFOREVER PRODUCER:
      "WE DIDN'T CHEAT TO WIN"
    6. CHAIRMAN EMERSON CARLOS ON CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST ISSUE
  7. HOW TO DISQUALIFY A MOVIE:
    JURORS TELL CONFLICTING STORIES
  8. MMFF JURORS DENY BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS
  9. DOMINIC DU DENIES INVOLVEMENT
    IN TICKET-PRICE ANOMALY

2ND ISSUE: REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S NONDISCLOSURE VIOLATION

  •  
  • Investigative Report by Jo-Ann Q. Maglipon & Rachelle Siazon
  •  

Lumikha ng malaking kontrobersiya ang nahuling pagpasok ng Honor Thy Father sa MMFF 2015.

Ayon kay Erik Matti, direktor at prodyuser ng Honor Thy Father, nang hindi makasali sa MMFF ang pelikula noong Hunyo ay naghanap na agad siya ng ibang masasalihang festival.

Ibinahagi ni Erik na ginawa niya ito mula Hunyo hanggang maimbitahan ulit ang Honor Thy Father na sumali ng MMFF noong Oktubre 2015.

Lahad niya: “Natanggal, so we have to find [another] life for the film. So, we were out.

"Technically, wala na kami sa festival. Number nine kami, e.

“Ilan lang ba yung nakapasok na number nine dati pa sa history? Wala naman, e, di ba?

“…Ang route namin talaga na iniisip for the film was to go out to festivals first, and then after that, find pocket screenings. Yun na nga lang—pocket screenings and word of mouth.

“Tapos in-invite kami noong October 21 [ng MMFF Execom].”

Ngunit 15 araw mula nang magsumite ang Reality Entertainment ng Certificate of Compliance sa MMFF, saka lamang pormal na nagpadala ng sulat ang Reality Entertainment na nagsasabing ipalalabas ang Honor Thy Father sa Cinema One Originals bilang opening film nito.

Narito ang kopya ng sulat ni Dondon sa MMFF Execom:

Kasabay nito ay nagsumite rin ang Reality Entertainment sa MMFF ng sulat mula sa Cinema One Channel Head Ronald Arguelles, na nagsasabing walang bayad at “by invitation only” ang pagsali ng Honor Thy Father bilang opening film para sa petsang November 8.

Narito ang kopya ng sulat ni Arguelles:

Kinontra naman ng MMFF Execom ang argumento ng Reality Entertainment.

Depensa ng MMFF Execom, dapat ay ipinaalam nina Dondon at Erik ang pagsali ng Honor Thy Father noon pa lang October 22, nang nagpadala ang Reality Entertainment ng Certificate of Compliance, alinsunod sa rules and regulations ng festival.

Itinuturing ng pamunuan ng MMFF ang October 22 Certificate of Compliance ng Reality Entertainment bilang application nito upang makasali sa festival.

Ito ang nakalap ng PEP sa panayam sa Execom members na sina Dominic Du, Marichu Maceda, at Jesse Ejercito.

Paliwanag ni Du, “But basically the issue here is the nondisclosure, okay?

“Ibig sabihin… we sent them a letter on October 21 informing them that they may be the next qualified, if they complied with the rules.

“They answered back on October 22 saying that they have complied, without mentioning anything about Cinema One Originals Festival, which we are very sure by that time alam na nila ‘yan.”

CINEMA ONE INCLUSION. Mariing kumontra rito ang kampo ng Reality Entertainment.

Nanindigan ang Honor Thy Father producers na sina Dondon Monteverde at Erik Matti na ang kanilang date of application ay June 8, at sila ay “invited” lamang sumali sa MMFF noong October 21.

Buwelta pa ni Dondon, “Anong inilagay nila dun [December 26 notice of Honor Thy Father's disqualification]? Nondisclosure in Cinema One, di ba?

“So, ang sabi naman namin, imposible, kasi sinabi namin sa kanila [in our November 5 letter].

“In fact, nagsabi nga sila na they knew about it.”

Giit pa ni Dondon, hindi maituturing na violation ang pagpapalabas ng Honor Thy Father sa Cinema One Originals dahil walang bayad at “by invitation only” ang naturang event.

Aniya, “They even asked Ronald Arguelles to write to them para sabihin nga na purely by invitation lang itong screening na ito, di ba?

“Walang monetary exchange or whatsoever ‘to.”

Muli naman itong kinontra ng MMFF Execom.

Paglilinaw ni Du ukol sa umano’y isinumiteng sulat ng Cinema One Originals sa MMFF Execom:

“No, Cinema One did not send us the letter. I think it was Reality who requested for a certification from Cinema One.”

Sa salaysay ni Marichu Maceda, nakarating sa kanya ang balitang sumali ang Honor Thy Father sa Cinema One Originals matapos opisyal na naaprubahan ang pelikula bilang MMFF entry.

Pagbabalikaw-tanaw niya, “They complied, and then narinig na lang namin na lalabas sa Cinema One Originals Festival.

“I called Dominic right away, siguro alas-diyes, alas-onse ng gabi. I asked him, ‘Dominic, alam mo ba na lumabas sila sa Cinema One?’”

Tinanong ng PEP si Maceda kung nangyari ito bago ng November 5 letter ng Reality Entertainment.

Sagot ni Maceda, “Yes, nalaman namin, so it was bothering us talaga, grabe.”

Ang salaysay ni Marichu ay tugma sa hiwalay na panayam ng PEP kay Dominic Du noong November 3, 2015.

Dito ay sinabi ni Du na pagkatapos lumahok ng Honor Thy Father sa MMFF ay nalaman niyang lalabas ito sa Cinema One Originals Festival.

Ani Du: "Yun ang borderline, e... Kasi ang rule namin, hindi puwede mag-commercial.

"And they're saying, one screening [at] invitational daw 'yan.

"We'll ask our lawyers to study it carefully kung ano ba. "

DELAYED SANCTION. Aminado ang pamunuan ng MMFF na natagalan bago nila inaksyunan ang nondisclosure violation ng Honor Thy Father.

Ito raw ay sa kadahilanang hindi makapag-convene ang buong MMFF Execom.

Nasa transition period daw noon ang pamunuan ng MMDA kaugnay ng pagbitiw sa puwesto ni MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino.

Paliwanag ni MMFF Execom member Marichu Maceda, “From November 6 up to December 14, hindi kami nakapagtawag ng Execom kasi may APEC [Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation] summit.

“Number two, bagong transition ang power from Chairman Tolentino to Chairman Carlos.”

Noong October 7, 2015, matatandaang bumitiw sa puwesto si Tolentino, na siya ring over-all chairman ng MMFF.

Dala ito ng pag-file niya, noong Oktubre 14, 2015, ng Certificate of Candidacy para tumakbo bilang senador.

Oktubre 30 nang opisyal na itinalaga ni Presidente Benigno Aquino III si Atty. Emerson Carlos bilang bagong MMDA chairman.

Si Chairman Carlos ay awtomatikong naging over-all chairman ng MMFF, alinsunod sa probisyon ng Presidential Proclamation No. 1647.

Ang PD No. 1647 ang nagtalaga na pamunuan ng MMDA ang MMFF, na idinaraos tuwing Disyembre.

Sa pagpapatuloy ng salaysay ni Maceda, iginiit niyang hindi agad makapag-convene ang MMFF Execom hinggil sa disqualification ng Honor Thy Father from the best- picture award.

Inamin niyang inabot ng mahigit isang buwan bago nagmiting ang dalawang sub-committees ng MMFF—ang Rules Committee at Special Working Committee—upang pag-usapan ang nondisclosure violation ng Honor Thy Father.

Nang makapag-miting ang dalawang komite, napagpasiyahan nilang may mga nilabag ang Reality Entertainment.

Sa ilalim ng Rule I Section 4 at Rule II Section (e) ng MMFF Rules and Regulations, ipinagbabawal ang isang MMFF entry na maging “commercially exhibited” sa ibang festival, mapa-lokal man o mapa-ibang bansa.

Sabi sa Rule 1: “'Commercially exhibited’ means any show, display or presentation intended for viewing by members of the general public, the audience thereof being required to pay or give valuable consideration, monetary or otherwise, in exchange for viewing the same.”

Nakapaloob din sa naturang probisyon na maaari lamang payagang maipalabas sa ibang festival ang isang film entry kung nagpa-abiso ang participating producer sa oras ng pag-apply nito sa MMFF.

Ganito ang pagkakasaad sa Rule 1: “Any film entry which has been shown in any regular, advance or preview screening for valuable consideration whether in movie theaters, television or other media venue, shall be disqualified; provided: any non-revenue advance or preview screening for promotional purposes only shall not be disqualified as long as the producer shall submit at the time of applying as an entry for the film festival a sworn statement attesting to the non-revenue and promotional nature of the said exhibition.”

Ang probisyong ito sa Rule 1 ay kaakibat ng Rule 2 na humihingi ng Certificate of Compliance sa bawat participating producer.

  1. TIMELINE
  2. WARRING PARTIES
  3. MMFF 2015 ISSUES IN BRIEF
  4. FULL LIST OF PLAYERS
  5. THE MMFF 2015 CONTROVERSY
    THAT OPENED PANDORA'S BOX
    1. 1ST ISSUE: DATE OF APPLICATION
    2. 2ND ISSUE: REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S NONDISCLOSURE VIOLATION
    3. 3RD ISSUE: PROCEDURAL LAPSE
    4. 4TH ISSUE: DOMINIC AND MARICHU MEET WITH THE JURORS
    5. 5TH ISSUE: SHORT NOTICE OF DISQUALIFICATION
    6. 6TH ISSUE: HONOR THY FATHER PARTICIPATES IN HAWAII FILM FEST
    7. ONE-DAY-LAST-DAY PRACTICE
  6. UNRAVELLING CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN PRODUCERS & MMFF
    1. ALLEGED EVIDENCE AGAINST
      ATTY. JOJI ALONSO & DOMINIC DU
    2. QUESTIONABLE FACEBOOK POSTS
    3. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF?
    4. REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S LINKS
      TO MMFF EXECOM
    5. #WALANGFOREVER PRODUCER:
      "WE DIDN'T CHEAT TO WIN"
    6. CHAIRMAN EMERSON CARLOS ON CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST ISSUE
  7. HOW TO DISQUALIFY A MOVIE:
    JURORS TELL CONFLICTING STORIES
  8. MMFF JURORS DENY BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS
  9. DOMINIC DU DENIES INVOLVEMENT
    IN TICKET-PRICE ANOMALY

3RD ISSUE: PROCEDURAL LAPSE

  •  
  • Investigative Report by Jo-Ann Q. Maglipon & Rachelle Siazon
  •  

Base sa pahayag ni Marichu Maceda sa Kongreso, at pati na rin sa panayam nito sa PEP, hindi agad naaksyunan ng MMFF Execom ang kaso ng Honor Thy Father dala ng “compassion” nito sa cast at staff na nagpakahirap gumawa ng pelikula.

Sa halip na diskwalipikahin ang buong pelikula, nagdesisyon ang Rules Committee at Special Working Committee na huwag na lamang isali ang Honor Thy Father sa best-picture category.

Sa gayon daw, ang mga prodyuser ang siyang mapapatawan ng penalty.

Pagkukulang umano ng producers ang hindi pag-disclose sa pagsali ng Honor Thy Father sa ibang festival.

Paliwanag ni Maceda sa PEP: “Yes, [we were being compassionate] by recommending to disqualify only the person who violated [a rule].

"Then that person is the producer.

“Wala namang kasalanan yung director, yung artista.”

Susog ni Dominic Du, “Well, alam mo, kung ang being kind and compassionate ay ‘yon ang naging kasalanan namin, maybe wala na kaming magawa, ‘no?”

Gayunman, aminado si Maceda na sa kanyang pagbabalik-tanaw ay mas nakabuti pa kung agad na nilang diniskwalipika sa kabuuan ang Honor Thy Father.

“Looking back now, I think we should have disqualified [HTF] totally from the very start. From the very start, kumbaga, hilaw.”

MMFF EXECOM DECISION. Sa kabilang banda, inalmahan ng kampo ng Reality Entertainment ang rekomendasyon ng dalawang MMFF sub-committees na tanggalin sa best-picture category ang Honor Thy Father.

Ito raw ay dahil hindi isinangguni ang rekomendasyon sa buong MMFF Execom.

Tinutukoy ng Reality Entertainment ang film festival rule na ang MMFF Execom ang may final call sa anumang desisyong may kaugnayan sa festival, lalo kapag usapin ng diskwalipikasyon.

Sabi ni Dondon, “Actually, mali yung sinasabi nila na nag-deliberate silang lahat.

“Kasi, the one really leading the fight to disqualify us was si Dominic and si Marichu.

“Silang dalawa ang lumalabas sa Congress, e, di ba?

“They were even moving without Chairman Emerson Carlos knowing what they are doing.”

Dugtong ni Erik, “In the rules and regulations, the chairman of the MMDA, as part of the Execom, kailangan mag-convene ang Execom bago madesisyunan kahit anuman ang disqualification.

“At that point, wala pang Execom, wala pang final decision. So, where is it coming from?”

Kinuwestiyon din ni Erik kung sinu-sino ang bumubuo ng dalawang MMFF sub-committees.

Aniya, “Kapag tinanong mo lahat ng Execom members, they only convened on December 26.

“So, the question is, yung December 14 na ‘yan na sinasabing meeting, who was there?”

Iginiit naman nina Maceda, Du, at Ejercito na kasama nila ang iba pang miyembro ng Rules Committee at Special Working Committee sa ginanap na December 14 meeting.

Ayon sa tatlo, ang mga miyembro ng Rules Committee na dumalo sa nabanggit na meeting ay sina: Dominic Du (Execom), Marichu Maceda (Execom), Jesse Ejercito (Execom), Atty. Rochelle Ona (MMDA Legal Service), Atty. Joseph Salud (MMDA Legal Service), at Robert Madarang (MMDA Council Secretariat).

Ang mga miyembro naman daw ng Special Working Committee na naroon ay sina: Atty. Noemi Ilagan (MMDA Secretariat Executive Director), Atty. Crisanto Saruca (MMDA Traffic Discipline Office) at Rowena Capulong-Reyes (FEU professor and chairman of the board of jurors). Miyembro rin sina Maceda, Du, at Ejercito ng Special Working Committee, at naroon daw sila sa meeting.

Kinuha ng PEP mula sa MMFF Secretariat ang listahan ng mga miyembro ng dalawang sub-committees, na itinilaga ni Chairman Tolentino.

Ang mga miyembro ay inilista sa Office Order No. 18 at No.19, na may petsang February 9, 2015.

Base rito, ang tanging hindi nakadalo mula sa Rules Committee ay sina Atty. Antonio Veloso (MTRCB), Robert Madarang (MMDA Council Secretariat), at ang resigned chairperson ng komite na si Cesar Chavez (MMDA OIC-Planning Office).

Narito ang Office Order No. 18:

Base pa rin sa listahan, ang mga hindi nakadalo mula sa Special Working Committee ay sina Boots Anson-Rodrigo (Mowelfund president and Execom member) at Edenison Fainsan (Finance and Budget Committee chairman).

Narito ang Office Order No. 19:

  1. TIMELINE
  2. WARRING PARTIES
  3. MMFF 2015 ISSUES IN BRIEF
  4. FULL LIST OF PLAYERS
  5. THE MMFF 2015 CONTROVERSY
    THAT OPENED PANDORA'S BOX
    1. 1ST ISSUE: DATE OF APPLICATION
    2. 2ND ISSUE: REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S NONDISCLOSURE VIOLATION
    3. 3RD ISSUE: PROCEDURAL LAPSE
    4. 4TH ISSUE: DOMINIC AND MARICHU MEET WITH THE JURORS
    5. 5TH ISSUE: SHORT NOTICE OF DISQUALIFICATION
    6. 6TH ISSUE: HONOR THY FATHER PARTICIPATES IN HAWAII FILM FEST
    7. ONE-DAY-LAST-DAY PRACTICE
  6. UNRAVELLING CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN PRODUCERS & MMFF
    1. ALLEGED EVIDENCE AGAINST
      ATTY. JOJI ALONSO & DOMINIC DU
    2. QUESTIONABLE FACEBOOK POSTS
    3. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF?
    4. REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S LINKS
      TO MMFF EXECOM
    5. #WALANGFOREVER PRODUCER:
      "WE DIDN'T CHEAT TO WIN"
    6. CHAIRMAN EMERSON CARLOS ON CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST ISSUE
  7. HOW TO DISQUALIFY A MOVIE:
    JURORS TELL CONFLICTING STORIES
  8. MMFF JURORS DENY BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS
  9. DOMINIC DU DENIES INVOLVEMENT
    IN TICKET-PRICE ANOMALY

4TH ISSUE: DOMINIC AND MARICHU MEET WITH THE JURORS

  •  
  • Investigative Report by Jo-Ann Q. Maglipon & Rachelle Siazon
  •  

Noong December 21, nagdesisyon ang Rules Committee at Special Working Committee na hingin ang sentimiyento ng MMFF Board of Jurors hinggil sa kaso ng Honor Thy Father.

Sa MMFF, ang primary role ng MMFF jurors ay panoorin—sa loob ng tatlong araw ng screening, o mula December 19 - December 21, 2015—ang walong official MMFF entries.

Pagkatapos ay bibigyan nila ng grado ang bawat entry sa iba’t ibang kategorya ng MMFF Awards.

Sa naturang three-day screening period ng jurors, naroon din ang MMFF Execom members na sina Marichu Maceda at Dominic Du.

Paliwanag nina Maceda at Du, ito raw ay sa dahilang sila ang in-charge sa pag-asikaso sa pangangailangan ng jurors.

Bukod dito ay opisyal na naitalaga si Du, bilang vice chairman ng Rules Committee, na pumirma sa sealed envelopes na iaabot sa tabulators.

SYSTEM FOR VOTING. Ito ang paliwanag ni Du: “Iyong mga score sheet, dala ng tabulator [from the] accounting firm.

“After you [juror] have voted, [and] scored [the MMFF entries], isa-submit ninyo ulit yung score sheet sa tabulator.

“Walang makakakita. Kayong jurors, you don’t get to see each other’s scores, okay?

“Pagdating dun [sa tabulator], ilalagay sa isang envelope.

“Tapos pag-seal niyan, it should carry also three signatures—one is the executive director, one is the head of the tabulator, the other one is supposed to be the [head of the] Rules Committee, which at that time, ako ‘yong nandun to sign.

“Hindi na mabubuksan ‘yon.

“So, there’s no way, jurors or kahit sino, [anyone] will be able to find out kung sino ang nanalo until that awards night. No way.”

Sa isang hiwalay na panayam, kinumpirma ni MMFF 2016 Secretariat Executive Director Atty. Noemi Ilagan na pinipirmahan ang sealed envelopes, kung saan nakapaloob ang score sheets ng jurors.

Nangyaring nag-resign nang panahong iyon ang Rules Committee chairman na si Cesar Chavez (MMDA OIC-Planning Office). Ang pumalit sa kanya ay si Du, na siyang vice chairman.

Pagkatapos ng deliberation at scoring ay isusumite ng jurors ang kanilang score sheets sa staff ng R.S. Bernaldo and Associates, ang auditing firm ng MMFF.

Sabi ni Atty. Ilagan sa hiwalay na panayam ng PEP, “As executive director, present ako somewhere.

“Hindi ako part ng deliberation. Nandun lang talaga ang executive director kasi...

“Isi-seal yung envelope. Then the executive director, the chair of the board of jurors, and the chairman of the rules—or [in this case] vice chair kasi wala na ang chairman of rules, ang vice chair si Mr. Du—magpipirma kami dun [sa sealed envelopes].”

TAKING CARE OF JURORS' NEEDS. Ayon kay Atty. Noemi Ilagan, si Marichu Maceda (na kilala rin sa industriya bilang Manay Ichu) ay katulong sa pangangasiwa ng mga meeting ng jurors.

Paliwanag ni Atty. Ilagan: "Si Manay and Mr. Du, hindi lang naman sila ngayon nandiyan. For the past three years laging nandiyan, also to help in the orderly meeting and gathering.

"Kasi, ang isang reason kung bakit kailangan ng gaya nila Manay and Mr. Du, minsan three films naka-schedule, biglang manonood na lang si board of juror, wala pa yung [pelikula]...

"Kailangan i-pacify ang board of jurors. Iba-ibang ano 'yan—magagalit 'yan, mag-aangalan 'yan. Pag nagtagal [ang hintayan], kailangan kuwentuhan mo 'yan.

"Kung wala ang Secretariat, or kung walang senior member of the Execom... Kagaya ni Manay, highly respected 'yan, so kukwentuhan ni Manay."

THE NIGHT OF DECEMBER 21. Ang gabi ng December 21 ang takdang panahon ng jury deliberation.

Sa pagpapatuloy ng salaysay ni Marichu Maceda, bago raw nagsagawa ng deliberasyon ang jurors, tinawag siya at si Dominic Du ni Rowena Capulong-Reyes, ang chairman ng board of jurors.

Sa puntong ito, inilatag daw sa jurors nina Maceda at Du ang nondisclosure violation ng Honor Thy Father.

Ani Maceda: “So, naka-schedule ang preview ng jurors December 19 [three pictures], December 20 [two pictures], and December 21 [three pictures].

“Alam na namin yung recommendation ng Special Working Committee at Rules Committee na disqualified ang Honor Thy Father for best picture.

“So, we informed the chairman of the jury, si Professor Weng [Rowena] Reyes, about that decision of the Rules Committee and Special Working Committee, and she explained it to the jury.

“Although she did not explain it on the first, second, or the third day [of the screening], she explained it at the end, just before the deliberation started, which is about eight o’clock in the evening.

“Our reason was that we did not want to pollute the minds of the jury about the disqualification because we wanted them to judge freely as far as the other awards were concerned.”

Unang nagsalita si Maceda, ngunit ipinasa niya kay Du ang pagpapaliwanag tungkol sa pinag-ugatan ng nondisclosure violation ng Honor Thy Father.

Sabi ni Du sa PEP, “Ako ang nag-continue ng explanation dahil, at that time, I felt that we have to explain from the very start para maintindihan ng jurors.”

Samantala, sa simula pa lang ay alam na ni Professor Rowena Reyes ang nondisclosure violation ng HTF.

Ito ay sa dahilang, liban sa pagiging head of the board of jurors, siya ay miyembro ng MMFF Execom at Special Working Committee.

Ngunit hindi nito inilatag sa jurors ang disqualification. Sa halip ay hiningi nitong ang magpaliwanag sa jurors ay sina Maceda at Du.

"I asked Du to explain himself," sinabi ni Professor Reyes sa January 13 Congress meeting, "because I cannot direct, instruct, or explain myself to the board of jurors. Because I was in the company of very esteemed members of the board of jurors."

NO VOTATION. Sa ginawang imbestigasyon ng Kongreso, kinatigan ng karamihan sa mga kongresista ang tinawag nitong “injustice, malice, bias” sa pag-anunsisyo nina Du at Maceda ng diskwalipikasyon ng Honor Thy Father.

Lalo na’t wala pa umanong pinal na desisyon ang Execom members ukol dito.

Binigyan ng bigat ng mga kongresista ang testimonya ni Carmen Musngi na diumano’y diniktahan sila nina Maceda at Du upang idiskwalipika ang Honor Thy Father mula sa best-picture category noong gabi ng kanilang deliberasyon.

Si Musngi ay isa sa mga hurado ng 2015 MMFF Awards at nanunungkulan bilang board of director ng Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).

Carmen Musngi, MTRCB director and MMFF 2015 juror

Sinegundahan si Musngi ng dalawa pang hurado na sina Paul Resurreccion at Lawrence Javier.

Taliwas ito sa testimonya ni Professor Rowena Capulong-Reyes, chairman of the board of jurors at Execom member, na nagkaroon ng votation ang mga hurado sa kaso ng Honor Thy Father.

Sabi ni Capulong-Reyes, “80 percent” sa kanila ang bumoto na idiskwalipika ang naturang pelikula dahil sa nondisclosure violation nito.

Professor Rowena Capulong-Reyes, MMFF 2015 chairman of the board of jurors

Depensa nina Du at Maceda, walang katotohanan ang alegasyong diniktahan nila ang jurors na tanggalin ang Honor Thy Father sa best-picture category.

Tulad ng paliwanag ni Capulong-Reyes, na professor sa Far Eastern University, iginiit ni Du na nagkaroon ng botohan ang mga hurado sa kaso ng HTF.

Pahayag ni Du: “'Yan nga ang gusto ng majority, meron silang say.

“Kaya nga tinanong sa [jurors ni Professor Capulong-Reyes]—

"'Anong tingin niyo sa rekomendasyon ng dalawang committee?

“'It’s either sa tingin ninyo meron kayong say and you are agreeable, then iboto ninyong ganun.

“'Pero kung ayaw ninyo, just go ahead with your usual procedure, then iakyat sa Execom.

“'Then, kung ia-approve ng Execom, that’s the only time, pag nanalo yun, iaakyat na lang yung sa number two.’

“And they decided [to agree] with the recommendation of the Execom.”

Ayon din kay Du, hindi siya nakisali sa deliberasyon ng mga hurado hinggil dito.

Saad niya, “So, hindi namin alam kung bakit biglang ‘yon ang impression ni Musngi that we directed them because, number one, we have no authority to direct or to tell them what to do.”

Ayon naman kay Maceda, posibleng namali ng intindi si Musngi sa usapan nila ng kanyang mga kapwa hurado, dahil na rin sa sistemang namayani.

“That must be their predicament," paglilinaw ni Maceda.

"Magulo sila, maingay, e. Hindi rin siguro nakikinig.

“And, if you know how it is, sa ganito, ganyan, sa usap-usapan, mahirap i-control.”

  1. TIMELINE
  2. WARRING PARTIES
  3. MMFF 2015 ISSUES IN BRIEF
  4. FULL LIST OF PLAYERS
  5. THE MMFF 2015 CONTROVERSY
    THAT OPENED PANDORA'S BOX
    1. 1ST ISSUE: DATE OF APPLICATION
    2. 2ND ISSUE: REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S NONDISCLOSURE VIOLATION
    3. 3RD ISSUE: PROCEDURAL LAPSE
    4. 4TH ISSUE: DOMINIC AND MARICHU MEET WITH THE JURORS
    5. 5TH ISSUE: SHORT NOTICE OF DISQUALIFICATION
    6. 6TH ISSUE: HONOR THY FATHER PARTICIPATES IN HAWAII FILM FEST
    7. ONE-DAY-LAST-DAY PRACTICE
  6. UNRAVELLING CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN PRODUCERS & MMFF
    1. ALLEGED EVIDENCE AGAINST
      ATTY. JOJI ALONSO & DOMINIC DU
    2. QUESTIONABLE FACEBOOK POSTS
    3. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF?
    4. REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S LINKS
      TO MMFF EXECOM
    5. #WALANGFOREVER PRODUCER:
      "WE DIDN'T CHEAT TO WIN"
    6. CHAIRMAN EMERSON CARLOS ON CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST ISSUE
  7. HOW TO DISQUALIFY A MOVIE:
    JURORS TELL CONFLICTING STORIES
  8. MMFF JURORS DENY BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS
  9. DOMINIC DU DENIES INVOLVEMENT
    IN TICKET-PRICE ANOMALY

5TH ISSUE: SHORT NOTICE OF DISQUALIFICATION

  •  
  • Investigative Report by Jo-Ann Q. Maglipon & Rachelle Siazon
  •  

Between December 21 to 26, hindi pa rin agad naresolba ng MMFF Execom ang kaso ng Honor Thy Father.

Tulad ng pahayag ni Marichu Maceda sa Kongreso, sinabi rin niya sa PEP na mula nang makuha nila ng kapwa 2015 MMFF Execom member Dominic Du ang sentimiyento ng jurors ay natagalan pa bago sila nakapagtawag ng Execom meeting.

Paliwanag ni Maceda, “All our minds were set na on the parade, ang daming problema on the parade.

“We were expecting multitude of crowds because of AlDub [Alden Richards and Yaya Dub for My Bebe Love].

“So, we had to get additional security from the police, hindi enough yung sa police.

“Kailangan pang kumuha ng mga police from the different cities of Metro Manila, Paraaque, ang daming problema kaya hindi kami makatawag.

“December 24, too late na magtawag ang Execom. December 25, too late din.

“December 26, nakatawag kami ng emergency meeting ng Execom.”

Base sa pahayag ni MMDA at MMFF Chairman Emerson Carlos sa Kongreso at sa hiwalay na panayam ng PEP, December 25 na nang malaman niya ang tungkol sa nondisclosure violation ng Honor Thy Father.

Kuwento ni Chairman Carlos sa PEP, nasa probinsiya siya nang makatanggap siya ng tawag mula kay Atty. Ona (Rules Committee member) na kailangang magpatawag ng “special emergency meeting” ang MMFF Execom dahil sa nabanggit na issue.

Balik-tanaw ni Chairman Carlos, “During the December 26 meeting, ang tanong ko sa kanila, ‘Bakit ngayon lang when pinalabas na?

“'We started showing December 25 and then ngayon niyo lang sasabihin na there’s an issue and there might be a disqualification...’”

Aminado si Chairman Carlos na may pagkukulang ang dalawang sub-committees ng MMFF sa nangyaring delay sa pagtawag ng emergency meeting ng Execom, lalo pa’t “vital issue” ang nakataya.

Gayunman, nagpatunay si Chairman Carlos na “unanimous” ang decision ng Execom sa pagdiskwalipika sa Honor Thy Father para sa best-picture category.

Aniya, “Sana if you were there during the deliberations on December 26, all options were exhausted.

“Talagang madugo ang usapan kung bakit sila idi-disqualify.

“Madaming arguments, pero eventually naging unanimous. Kailangan talagang i-disqualify.

“Because kapag hindi natin sila dinisqualify for the best-picture category, what would prevent others later on? Magiging precedent talaga siya.

“We were expecting that it would spur a controversy. But we weighed the options—mag-spur ng controversy ito, talagang maglalabasan lahat ng mga issues dito.

“But we thought that it was a lesser evil than making a precedent which could be used by other producers later on.

“And which might turn the film festival into a festival of [movie] reissues.”

Narito ang kopya ng sulat ng MMFF Execom sa Reality Entertainment, na may petsang December 26:

24-HOUR NOTICE. Tulad ng inaasahan, inalmahan nang husto ng kampo ng Reality Entertainment ang pagkatanggal nila sa best-picture category, isang araw bago ganapin ang MMFF Awards Night.

Ayon kay Dondon Monteverde, masyadong gipit ang 24 oras na panahong ibinigay sa kanila upang makapaghain ng pormal na apela sa pamunuan ng MMFF Execom.

Giit ng Honor Thy Father producer, “Sabi nga ni Direk Erik [Matti], when you’re pushed to the edge kailangan naming lumaban na, lalo na kapag sobrang obvious naman na tinatapakan ka na.

“Padalhan ka ba naman ng isang e-mail December 26 na disqualification…

“Anong tawag mo dun? Di ba, kalokohan naman yun?”

Mismong sa patakaran ng MMFF ay nakasaad na anumang desisyon ng MMFF Execom ay maaaring iapela “within 10 days upon receipt of the decision.”

Sabi sa Rule 12 Section 1 ng MMFF Rules and Regulations, “The decisions of the MMFF Committees, except the Selection Committee, the Board of Jurors, and the Playdate Sales Monitoring Committee, are appealable to the Executive Committee within ten (10) working days upon receipt of the decision.

“The decision of the Executive Committee shall be final and executory.”

Sa puntong ito, si Erik ang nagpatuloy na magpaliwanag ng reklamo ng Reality Entertainment laban sa MMFF Execom.

Sabi ng Honor Thy Father director, “So they sent the letter on December 26.

“So, ang main contention namin sa complaint is why they sent it on Saturday.

“Saturday no office, and December 27 yung awards night, through e-mail pa.

“And in the rules, nakalagay, you are allowed 10 working days to refute or to question yung gagawin sa inyo.

“But of course, given that it’s the 26th and 27 yung awards night, you have no chance to refute that, so that was asked of them in Congress.”

Dagdag pa ni Erik, kuwestiyonable ang pagdiskwalipika sa kanila ng December 26, gayong lumabas sa Kongreso na ilang linggo na palang may rekomendasyon ang dalawang sub-committee ng MMFF.

“Ang tagal-tagal niyo nang hawak yung sulat.

“Questionable yung 26, tapos awards night 27, di ba? How could the aggrieved party question the decision?

“Tsaka lang lumabas yung December 14 meeting na ‘yan.”

Front row (L-R): Meryll Soriano, Stacy Bascon, Erik Matti, Dondon Monteverde, and Atty. Agnes Maranan

  1. TIMELINE
  2. WARRING PARTIES
  3. MMFF 2015 ISSUES IN BRIEF
  4. FULL LIST OF PLAYERS
  5. THE MMFF 2015 CONTROVERSY
    THAT OPENED PANDORA'S BOX
    1. 1ST ISSUE: DATE OF APPLICATION
    2. 2ND ISSUE: REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S NONDISCLOSURE VIOLATION
    3. 3RD ISSUE: PROCEDURAL LAPSE
    4. 4TH ISSUE: DOMINIC AND MARICHU MEET WITH THE JURORS
    5. 5TH ISSUE: SHORT NOTICE OF DISQUALIFICATION
    6. 6TH ISSUE: HONOR THY FATHER PARTICIPATES IN HAWAII FILM FEST
    7. ONE-DAY-LAST-DAY PRACTICE
  6. UNRAVELLING CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN PRODUCERS & MMFF
    1. ALLEGED EVIDENCE AGAINST
      ATTY. JOJI ALONSO & DOMINIC DU
    2. QUESTIONABLE FACEBOOK POSTS
    3. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF?
    4. REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S LINKS
      TO MMFF EXECOM
    5. #WALANGFOREVER PRODUCER:
      "WE DIDN'T CHEAT TO WIN"
    6. CHAIRMAN EMERSON CARLOS ON CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST ISSUE
  7. HOW TO DISQUALIFY A MOVIE:
    JURORS TELL CONFLICTING STORIES
  8. MMFF JURORS DENY BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS
  9. DOMINIC DU DENIES INVOLVEMENT
    IN TICKET-PRICE ANOMALY

6TH ISSUE: HONOR THY FATHER PARTICIPATES IN HAWAII FILM FEST

  •  
  • Investigative Report by Jo-Ann Q. Maglipon & Rachelle Siazon
  •  

Nanindigan ang MMFF Execom na nilabag ng Reality Entertainment ang patakaran ng MMFF nang ipalabas nito ang Honor Thy Father sa ibang film festival.

Tinukoy nito ang paglabas ng HTF, hindi lamang sa Cinema One Originals kundi pati na rin sa Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF).

Nakapaloob ang posisyon ng MMFF Execom sa isinumite nitong position paper sa komiteng Metro Manila Development (MMD) ng Kongreso.

Ang MMD committee ang siyang nangasiwa ng imbestigasyon ng Kongreso sa diumano’y mga iregularidad sa MMFF 2015.

Isinumite ng MMFF Execom ang position paper sa panahong katatapos lang ng pangalawa sa tatlong Congressional meetings tungkol sa kontrobersiya.

MMFF POSITION PAPER. Nakasaad sa official statement, o position paper, ng MMFF:

“Assuming, arguendo [for the sake of argument], that Reality in fact complied with the MMFF Rules on disclosure in the case of Honor Thy Father, the fact remains that Reality still failed to disclose the material fact that the film was shown at the Hawaii International Film Festival.

“The MMFF confirmed that Honor Thy Father participated and was shown at the Hawaii International Film Festival after it was admitted [there] in August 2015.

“The film was shown twice [in Hawaii]: on 14 November 2015 and 18 November 2015.

“Honesty and fairness demand Reality to come clean and disclose this material fact to the MMFF pursuant to the MMFF Rules and Regulation.”

Iginiit ng MMFF Execom na hindi ipinaalam ng Reality Entertainment ang paglahok nito sa film festivals ng Hawaii at Cinema One Originals nang ito ay mag-apply sa MMFF noong October 22.

Sa puntong ito, binalikan uli ni Erik ang argumento ng kampo ng Reality Entertainment na inimbitahan lamang sila ng MMFF Execom noong Oktubre, at ang kanilang tunay na date of application ay June 8.

Sagot naman ni Dondon hinggil sa pagpapalabas ng Honor Thy Father sa Hawaii film festival: “Wala pa kaming invitation nun, e, anong point? Ba’t naman namin ipapaalam sa kanila?

“The rules said disclose everything when you apply. We disclosed everything in June.

“We have the script, nandiyan, nag-shoot pa kami. O, na-disclose namin!

“Pero, the festivals naman... wala pa kami sa MMFF, anong gagawin namin? Sisirain namin pangalan namin [sa pag-atras]?”

Kinuwestiyon ni Dondon ang pagbanggit ng MMFF Execom sa HIFF.

Ito raw ay sa kadahilanang ang pagpapalabas ng Honor Thy Father sa Cinema One Originals ang tanging basehan nang i-disqualify sila ng MMFF Execom sa best-picture category noong December 26.

“Actually ako, Hawaii [International Film Festival]—I never wanted naman to go there. I never denied [that the film went to Hawaii]," giit ni Dondon.

“Ang bone of contention, bakit niyo pa kami dinisqualify?

“Sinabi niyo naman nondisclosure [sa Cinema One] lang.

“Huwag na tayong mag-dwell dun sa iba, just the facts!”

FAILURE TO DISCLOSE. Sa huli, pumosisyon si MMFF Chairman Emerson Carlos na may nilabag ang Reality Entertainment sa pagpapalabas ng Honor Thy Father sa Cinema One Originals at sa Hawaii International Film Festival.

Saad ni Chairman Carlos sa PEP: “Ang point namin is, at the time na ni-receive namin ang application, there was already an acceptance, there was already a promise on your part that you will not join any other festival.

“Otherwise, had you stated so, we could have picked another. We could have advised you.

“Or, we could have picked that Number 10 film [nominee], if you really wanted to join [other] festivals.

“At that time of reckoning, October 22, you did not disclose na sasali kayo [sa ibang festivals].

“And then, later on, hindi lang pala Cinema One, may Hawaii International Film Festival pa pala.

“Hindi ninyo dinisclose.

“Ang pinaka-kasalanan talaga is not the fact na ipinalabas [sa Cinema One o sa HIFF], it’s the fact that you did not disclose a material fact.”

CONFIRMATION FROM HAWAII. Kaugnay nito, nakuha ng PEP ang kopya ng palitan ng e-mail sa pagitan ng pamunuan ng MMFF Secretariat at ni HIFF Programming Director Anderson Le.

Sa January 4, 2016 e-mail ni Le, kinumpirma niyang ang Honor Thy Father ay ipinalabas sa HIFF noong November 14 at 18, 2015.

Saad ni Le, “Yes, I am confirming that HONOR THY FATHER played at my film festival. Here is the program listing for the film in Hawai: [link of Honor Thy Father screenings in HIFF website].

“I confirmed the film sometime in mid-August.”

Narito ang e-mail ni Anderson Le, ang Hawaii film fest programming director:

TICKETS SOLD IN HAWAII AND TORONTO. Sa official website ng Hawaii International Film Festival, nakasaad na ticket prices per screening ay $10, $12, at $14.

Mayroon ding unlimited pass, ngunit hindi nakasaad kung ano ang eksaktong ticket prices para rito.

Sabi ni Dominic Du: “Nakalagay dito, confirming [Honor Thy Father's participation] mid-August.

“That proves that when they [Reality Entertaiment] sent us the letter [that] they complied, October 22, alam na nila 'yan.”

Matatandaang nakasaad sa Rule I Section 4 at Rule II Section (e) ng MMFF Rules and Regulations na mahigpit na ipinagbabawal ang pagpapalabas ng isang MMFF entry sa ibang festival nang may bayad.

NO EARNINGS FROM FOREIGN FESTIVALS. Nang tanungin ng PEP ang Reality Entertainment tungkol dito, iginiit ni Erik Matti na wala silang kinita mula sa film screenings ng Honor Thy Father sa Hawaii film fest.

“Sa akin lang, the words are clear, you cannot have public exhibition where the producers will earn from it," sabi ng HTF director and co-producer.

“But, we didn’t earn from it!

“Sa kanila yun dun, e. Audience ba natin ‘yon?”

Punto naman ni Dondon, imposibleng hindi alam ng MMFF Execom na inilabas ang Honor Thy Father sa HIFF bago pa ito tinanggap bilang MMFF entry.

Sabi ng Honor Thy Father producer, “But then, you know, honestly, ang bone of contention namin diyan, kung taga-industry kayo, alam niyo na ang dami namin sinalihan na festival, e.

“It went through three festivals—Stockholm, Hawaii, and Toronto.

“Toronto [International Film Festival] was very well-publicized, and it was even in ABS-CBN and all that—not even Hawaii.”

Ngunit, ayon kina Maceda at Du, ang tanging nakarating sa MMFF Execom ay ang pagpapalabas ng Honor Thy Father sa Toronto International Film Festival, na ginanap noong September 10 to 20, 2015.

Maituturing daw itong “non-issue” dahil ipinalabas ang Honor Thy Father sa Toronto bago ito nakapasok bilang official entry ng MMFF noong Oktubre.

Paliwanag ni Maceda, “But we were informed kasi, not officially or in writing, that Toronto was a non-commercial festival.

Dugtong ni Du, “[Although] we found out later on na may selling of tickets din pala.”

Sa nakalap na impormasyon ng PEP mula sa website ng Toronto International Film Festival, ang ticket prices para sa naturang film festival ay $18 to $25 para sa regular passes at $30 to $48 para sa premium passes.

Sa isinumiteng position paper ng 2015 MMFF Execom sa Kongreso, nakasaad na malinaw na nilabag ng Reality Entertainment ang patakaran ng festival nang hindi nito agad sinabi na isinali ang Honor Thy Father sa film screenings outside MMFF.

Sabi pa sa MMFF position paper: “But in the interest of fairness and equity, the MMFF Executive Committee decided to impose the lighter penalty of disqualification from the best-picture category of the 2015 MMFF Awards only.”

MMFF Execom member Marichu Maceda (in black), MMDA Chairman Emerson Carlos (in white), and Dominic Du (partially hidden on the right side of Chairman Carlos)

BEST-PICTURE AWARD: LEVERAGE OR NOT? Naniniwala ang kampo nina Dondon at Erik na mahalagang ibunyag nila ang tinatawag nilang maanomalyang diskwalipikasyon ng Honor Thy Father sa best-picture category.

Lalo pa raw at ang pagkakaroon ng best-picture award ay nakakaangat umano sa box-office appeal ng isang MMFF entry.

Sabi ni Dondon: “Kasi, alam mo ‘yon, malaking bagay yung awards. Kasi, meron na ‘yan precedent.

“Kapag two years na maganda sa ‘yo, nasa ‘yo lahat ng awards, best picture ka, tumataas yung pelikula mo sa takilya, di ba? Yun ‘yon.

“Para sa akin, parang ‘yon yung ninakaw mo sa amin.”

Ang direktor naman nitong si Erik ay nanindigan sa kanyang reklamo laban sa MMFF 2015 Execom.

“They’ve been changing the results of the awards since time immemorial, di ba?" sabi niya.

“Why didn’t they just take us out of the awards? Why didn’t they just disqualify us?”

Movie stills from Honor Thy Father

NO GUARANTEE OF BOX-OFFICE BUCKS. Hindi sang-ayon si Marichu Maceda sa sinasabi ni Dondon at Erik tungkol sa box office.

Hindi raw kasiguraduhan ang best-picture award sa pagpatok sa takilya ng isang MMFF entry.

Pahayag ni Maceda—na nagmumula sa angkan ng mga Vera-Perez, ang may-ari ng Sampaguita Pictures, na dati'y isa sa pinakamalaking movie companies sa bansa: “For the record, winning the best picture is no guarantee that it will translate into a box office [hit].

“In our experience in the past five years, nanalo ang Asiong Salonga (2011), best picture, did it improve [in the box office]?

“Nanalo ang 10,000 hours (2013), starring Robin Padilla, directed by Bb. Joyce Bernal? Did it improve? No.

“Nanalo ang Bonifacio (2014). It was a beautiful movie. But did it improve in the box office? No.

English Only, Please (2014), did it improve?

“But, at the start talaga, [malakas na yung English Only, Please] at saka may evening crowd talaga.

“Yung One More Try (2012), nanalong best picture, lalong lumakas, pero it started, malakas na.

“Feeling ko nga, mas nakatulong pa itong controversy [sa box-office take ng Honor Thy Father] kaysa sa kapag nanalong best picture, e.”

SORE LOSERS? Si Jesse Ejercito, 2015 MMFF Execom chairman, ay nagsabi sa PEP na hindi na bago ang makatanggap ng reklamo ang pamunuan ng MMFF mula sa participating producers.

Ang kadalasan daw na nagrereklamo ay yung may film entry na natalo sa MMFF Awards o hindi naman kaya ay mahina ang kita sa takilya.

Pahayag ni Ejercito: “There are really sore losers.

“Akala kasi nila, tandem yung kapag best picture ka, nagpi-pick up ka [sa takilya], kikita yung pelikula mo after two days.

“Kasi ang awards night [is usually held] two days after opening day [of the MMFF].

“So, akala nila, yun. Yung iba, yung pride nila…inggitan…

“Essentially, sore losers.”

Sinang-ayunan din ito ni Maceda.

Sabi niya, “Hindi, kung ite-trace mo talaga, yung lahat ng controversies, nanggaling talaga sa mga hindi kumita ang pelikula.

“Knee-jerk reaction, I guess.”

Depensa naman ng kampo ng Reality Entertainment, hindi ito basta isyu ng pagiging “sore loser.”

Dahil, kung tutuusin daw ay hindi nagreklamo ang kanilang kumpanya nang hindi makapasok ang Honor Thy Father sa una nilang pagsali sa MMFF noong June 2015.

Sa kanyang pananalita: “Gusto ko lang sagutin yung sinabi ni [Ejercito] about sore losers.

“Hindi kami nakapasok dun sa official eight entries, wala silang narinig sa amin, di ba?”

Ayon pa kay Dondon, sanay ang Reality Entertainment sa anumang resulta ng pagsali nila sa isang contest, mapa-lokal man o abroad.

“So, there’s no such thing as sore losers, di ba? We’ll just try.

“Hindi naman namin sinasabi na magaling kami, na we can’t accept defeat or anything.”

Ang punto ng Reality Entertainment, ayon kay Dondon, ay ang pagsasa-ayos ng sistema ng pamumuno ng MMFF Execom.

Dagdag niya, “Pero, ayusin nila yung the manner of what they need to do in terms of [festival procedures].

“Disqualifying someone on December 26? Walang due process! It’s wrong, di ba?

“Especially sa part na gumagalaw yung mga tao na hindi niyo ipinapaalam sa chairman niyo.

“Na sinasabi nila sa lahat ng tao na disqualified ito, pero yung chairman niyo, walang alam sa ginagawa niyo, which is wrong also for me.”

  1. TIMELINE
  2. WARRING PARTIES
  3. MMFF 2015 ISSUES IN BRIEF
  4. FULL LIST OF PLAYERS
  5. THE MMFF 2015 CONTROVERSY
    THAT OPENED PANDORA'S BOX
    1. 1ST ISSUE: DATE OF APPLICATION
    2. 2ND ISSUE: REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S NONDISCLOSURE VIOLATION
    3. 3RD ISSUE: PROCEDURAL LAPSE
    4. 4TH ISSUE: DOMINIC AND MARICHU MEET WITH THE JURORS
    5. 5TH ISSUE: SHORT NOTICE OF DISQUALIFICATION
    6. 6TH ISSUE: HONOR THY FATHER PARTICIPATES IN HAWAII FILM FEST
    7. ONE-DAY-LAST-DAY PRACTICE
  6. UNRAVELLING CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN PRODUCERS & MMFF
    1. ALLEGED EVIDENCE AGAINST
      ATTY. JOJI ALONSO & DOMINIC DU
    2. QUESTIONABLE FACEBOOK POSTS
    3. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF?
    4. REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S LINKS
      TO MMFF EXECOM
    5. #WALANGFOREVER PRODUCER:
      "WE DIDN'T CHEAT TO WIN"
    6. CHAIRMAN EMERSON CARLOS ON CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST ISSUE
  7. HOW TO DISQUALIFY A MOVIE:
    JURORS TELL CONFLICTING STORIES
  8. MMFF JURORS DENY BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS
  9. DOMINIC DU DENIES INVOLVEMENT
    IN TICKET-PRICE ANOMALY

ONE-DAY-LAST-DAY PRACTICE

  •  
  • Investigative Report by Jo-Ann Q. Maglipon & Rachelle Siazon
  •  

Bukod sa pagtanggal ng Honor Thy Father sa best-picture category, inireklamo rin ng Reality Entertainment ang tinawag nitong “unfair trade practice” ng Sales and Playdate Monitoring Committee ng MMFF.

Sa agenda ng Metro Manila Development committee ng Kongreso, naitala ang "unfair trade practice" bilang “one-day-last-day practice."

Ang tinutukoy nito ay ang pagtanggal ng isang MMFF entry mula sa sinehan kahit na isang araw pa lamang itong naipalalabas.

Sa mga miting ng MMD—ang komite ng Kongreso na nangasiwa sa imbestigasyon ng mga reklamo sa 2015 MMFF—na ginanap noong Enero 11 at 13, sangkot muli sa isyu si Dominic Du.

Si Du ay miyembro ng MMFF 2015 Execom, vice-chairman ng Rules Committee, miyembro ng Selection Committee, at siya ring chairman ng Sales and Playdate Monitoring Committee ng MMFF.

Ang huling komite ang namahala sa schedule at booking sa sinehan ng mga film fest entries.

ERIK MATTI SINGLES OUT DOMINIC DU. Si Erik Matti, ang direktor ng Honor Thy Father, ang nangunang nagreklamo kay Du: “Kasi nagmamadali sila palitan ng malalakas [na pelikula sa] first day pa lang, para mas pumalo pa.

“Kasi kapag iniwan mo sa sinehan yung mga mahihina—mga Nilalang, Honor Thy Father—hindi nila mama-maximize yung kita nila...

"[Kapag] inilagay mo Beauty and the Bestie kalahati, tapos Ai-Ai delas Alas-Vic Sotto yung kalahati, lahat ‘yan kumikita."

Ayon kay Erik, hindi tama ang sistemang ito dahil kawawa ang mga mahuhusay ngunit mahihinang pelikula.

Kinuwestiyon din ni Direk Erik ang patakaran ng Sales at Playdate Monitoring Committee kung saan, ayon sa kanya, si Du lang ang nagdedesisyon sa pagtanggal ng pelikula sa sinehan.

Dagdag ni Erik: “The rule in the MMFF is the producers cannot go straight to the theaters. The theaters cannot talk to the producers, so it’s only through him [Dominic Du].”

Ni hindi nga raw mismong producers ang pumipirma sa tuwing may pinu-pull out na MMFF entry.

DU SHOWS PROOF NO. 1. Mariing itinanggi ni Du ang mga paratang.

Sinabi ng chairman ng Sales and Playdate Monitoring Committee na walang katotohanan ang alegasyong siya ang may kontrol sa lifespan ng isang MMFF entry sa isang sinehan.

Paliwanag ni Du: “It’s the committee [that decides]. Meron kaming representative ng producer, representative ng theaters.”

Bilang patunay, ipinakita ni Du sa PEP ang mga dokumentong nagpapakita ng proseso ng pullout ng isang pelikula noong nagdaang MMFF.

Mismong ang pagtanggal sa Honor Thy Father mula sa SM Light-Cinema 3 ang inilibas niyang dokumento.

Ito ay ang Request For Changes/Switching Form na isinumite ng SM Light-Cinema 3, na may petsang December 25, ang unang araw ng MMFF.

Dito ay makikitang hiningi ng sinehan sa MMFF na palitan ang Honor Thy Father ng Haunted Mansion dahil sa “low sales.”

Narito ang nakuhang kopya ng PEP ng pinirmahang request form ng SM Light-Cinema 3:

Kalakip nito ang Changes/Decision Form ng Playdate and Sales Monitoring Committee.

Nakasaad ditong “last day” na sa naturang sinehan ang Honor Thy Father at papalitan ito ng Haunted Mansion effective “December 26, 2015,” ang pangalawang araw ng MMFF.

Ayon kay Du, ang pag-request ng SM Light-Cinema 3 ay nangyari bandang 3 p.m. ng December 25, sa kadahilanang hindi pa raw umabot ng P1,000 ang kinita ng Honor Thy Father sa araw na iyon.

Ipinakita ni Du na hindi lang siya ang nakapirma sa Changes/Decision Form kundi pati na ang representatives ng SM Light-Cinema 3, Reality Entertainment, at Regal Films.

Sabi ni Du: “Puwede ring mag-request ang producers if they need additional theaters. But this one, hindi.

“So, kapag okay na—that means, with the conformity of Reality Entertainment’s representative, with the conformity of Regal Films, and with the conformity of the theaters.

“So, paano nila sasabihin na without consent, di ba?”

Narito ang kopya ng Changes/Decision Form ng Playdate and Sales Monitoring Committee na mayroong "conforme" ng Regal Films at Reality Films:

DU SHOWS PROOF NO. 2. Isa pang ipinakitang dokumento ni Du ay ang Request for Changes/Switching Form ng Robinsons Metro East, na hiningi sa MMFF na palitan ang Nilalang ng My Bebe Love noong December 25.

Lahad ni Du: “Robinson’s Metro East, nag-request din. Sobrang hina [ng Nilalang] on the opening day, December 25, so we have to pull out, kasi walang tao.

“However, we made special arrangement with the theater, ‘Sige, bibigyan namin ng additional sine for Bebe Love.

"'However, baka medyo after a few days, medyo humupa na, hindi na kailangan ng ganung kadaming screen, kasi medyo hindi na ganun kadami ang tao. Ibalik natin yung tinanggal nating Nilalang.'”

“Eto, to be brought back January 1, 2016 sila [Nilalang]. Conformity Viva Films representing Nilalang. My Bebe Love ng OctoArts yung papasok.

“I just want to [put] on record na hindi totoo yung sinasabi nilang they were pulled out without them knowing it.”

Narito ang kopya ng Changes/Decision Form na aprubado ng komite at mayroong conforme ng Viva Films at Octoarts Films:

EQUAL THEATER DISTRIBUTION. Sa kabila nito, iginiit ni Erik na si Du ang siyang may kontrol ng pagtanggal ng pelikula sa sinehan.

Walang ibinigay na pruweba ang direktor ng Honor Thy Father.

Ganunpaman, ipinagpatuloy nito ang pagtira sa pamamalakad ni Du: “The way he makes it sound is, 'Hindi naman ako lang ‘yan, e.'

“Why can’t you fight for it? Why can’t you demand for equal theater distribution, di ba?

“Why can’t you demand na antayin muna natin? Three days muna.”

Ipinaliwanag ni Erik na, bilang isang filmmaker, gusto niyang ipaabot na hindi lang dapat box-office results ang maging basehan sa pagpapalabas ng MMFF entries.

MARKET FORCES DICTATE DISTRIBUTION. Nanindigan naman si Du na sadyang nakabatay sa market demand ang ipapalabas sa mga sinehan.

Aniya, “Meron kaming rules na ganun, na we will play for three days. However, kapag extreme cases, those three days can be shortened.”

Isang halimbawa raw ng extreme case ay ang nangyari sa SM Light-Cinema 3, kung saan limang tao lang ang nanood ng Honor Thy Father as of 3 p.m. December 25, ang opening day.

Dagdag ni Du, “So, yung 'unfair business practice,' para sa akin is a matter of perception. Kanya-kanyang interpretation.”

Maging si Chairman Emerson Carlos, nang tanungin ng PEP tungkol sa isyu, ay nagsabing walang rule ang MMFF na magkakaroon ng guaranteed screening ang MMFF entries.

Paliwanag ni Chairman Carlos: “Walang sinasabi sa rules na kailangan they [the movies] should be in theaters for a span of at least three days.

“Wala, e. It’s dictated by market forces.

“Ang Playdate Committee is composed of theater owners—sila-sila.

“Yung producers ng film and then yung Playdate Committee [ang nagde-decide].

“And then they meet every night from the start of the film festival. They haggle.”

MORE GENRES, PLEASE. Kaugnay nito, inireklamo rin nina Erik Matti at Dondon Monteverde ang kakulangan ng pagkakaiba ng genre ng mga pelikulang ipinapalabas tuwing MMFF.

Base sa nagdaang MMFF 2015, malinaw daw na nilabag ng pamunuan ng MMFF ang kanilang patakaran na dalawang pelikula lang per genre ang puwedeng ipalabas sa festival.

Ayon kay Dondon, pare-parehong romantic-comedy ang genre ng apat na MMFF entries: Beauty and The Bestie, All You Need Is Pag-ibig, #WalangForever, at My Bebe Love.

Sa pahayag naman ng MMFF Execom, ang mga official entries at ang kanilang mga genre ay: Beauty and The Bestie (comedy), My Bebe Love (romantic comedy), All We Need Is Pagibig (romantic comedy), #WalangForever (romantic drama), Nilalang (action-thriller), Honor Thy Father (action-drama), Buy Now Die Later (horror-comedy), at Haunted Mansion (horror).

Buwelta ni Erik dito: “Ang explanation ni Philbert [Dy], ang ginagawa nila [MMFF]—sa Congress din ito sinabi—pinagpapalit-palit lang nila.

“So, kunwari nag-voice out sila, ‘Di ba, parehong romcom ‘yan?’ ‘Ay, hindi, mas comedy naman kasi yung isa. Yung isa mas romance naman kasi, e.' Ganun.”

Si Philbert Dy ay isa sa Selection Committee members na lumantad noong Congress meetings at nagsabing walang sapat na deliberasyong naganap nang salain ng kanilang komite ang walong official entries ng MMFF 2015.

LILYBETH NAKPIL DISSENTS. Kinontra naman ito ng isa pang Selection Committee member, si Lilybeth Vera Perez-Nakpil.

Sinabi nitong may karampatang ranking ang 21 scripts na kanilang pinagbotohan noong June 21, 2015.

Pagkuwento ni Nakpil, “Pagdating namin dun, it is presumed na binasa na namin lahat ng script.

“So, ano ang best ten niyo diyan? Best twelve niyo diyan? Yun ang sinasabi namin. Kasi ganito, ganyan, based on the criteria [for judging].

“Kasi from there, after narrowing it down, we discuss the merits of the film.

“Kasi, iisa-isahin natin yung mga pelikula, tapos sasabihin [namin], ‘Anong genre ba ito?’

“Paanong sasabihing hindi nag-deliberate o it was prejudged already?”

Ayon pa kay Nakpil, mayroon ding representative ang R.S. Bernaldo & Associates, ang auditing firm na kinuha ng MMFF 2015.

Ang auditing firm ang siyang kumolekta ng scores na iginawad ng Selection Committee at siya ring nag-tabulate ng results.

Pagtataka ni Lilybeth, “I cannot understand why they [Philbert Dy and Reality Entertainment] said there’s no deliberation.

“The mere fact na nagbotohan kami…

“At ang nag-tabulate is an independent body.”

CRITERIA FOR ACCEPTING ENTRIES. Sa governing rules ng festival, nakasaad ang criteria sa pagpili ng MMFF entries.

Fifty percent for commercial viability; 40 percent for story, creativity, writing excellence, innovativeness, and thematic value; at 10 percent para sa Filipino cultural or historical value.

Ito raw ang mga criteria na pinagbasehan ng Selection Committee ng kanyang choices.

Sa puntong ito, muling kinuwestiyon ng Reality Entertainment kung bakit ang pangunahing konsiderasyon sa pagpili ng entries ay commercial viability.

Pagsuma ni Dondon, “Di ba? Ang habol talaga nila, pera.”

Susog ni Erik, hindi tama na “greed” ang maging motibo sa pagpapatakbo ng MMFF.

“It has to go back to the whole idea that it’s a festival to showcase the best the industry could offer at the end of the year," sabi ng direktor, na kilala para sa mga pelikula niyang On the Job, Ekis, Scorpio Nights2, at iba pa.

“Di ba? Whole year round every big studio has every chance, and they don’t have difficulties booking their playdates.”

NEW SET OF MMFF RULES. Bunsod ng sanga-sangang kontrobersiya ng MMFF 2015, nagtatag ang Metro Manila Development committee ng Kongreso ng isang Technical Working Group (TWG).

Ang trabaho nito ay magrekomenda ng guidelines para sa MMFF 2016.

Base sa spot report ng Metro Manila Development committee secretariat, ang TWG ay binubuo ng mga sumusunod na kongresista: Winston Castelo, Alfred Vargas, Johnny Revilla, Jose Atienza, at Dan Fernandez.

Ang mga kongresistang ito ay pawang nagkondena sa diumano’y maanomalyang pamamalakad ng MMFF 2015 Execom.

FILM PRODUCERS MEET. Ibinahagi naman nina Dondon at Erik sa PEP na nagkaroon na rin ng pagpupulong ang ilang major, medium-scale, at independent producers.

Ito ay upang makapagbigay din umano ng rekomendasyon ang mga producers sa ikahuhusay pa ng susunod na MMFF.

Ang unang producers meeting ay inorganisa ng Reality Entertainment noong January 29.

Base sa listahan na nakalap ng PEP mula sa Reality Entertainment, dinaluhan ito ng mga sumusunod na producers: Cris Pablo (The Lovelife Project), Kaiski Flores (Origin8), Ida Tiongson (HPI Synergy), Malou Santos (Star Cinema), Dean Arriola (Octo Arts Films), at Vincent Del Rosario (Viva Films).

Naroon din sina Chuck Gutierrez (Voyage Studios), Madonna Tarrayo (Unitel), Daphne Chiu (TBA), Angelo Santos (Black Maria Pictures), Paul Soriano (Ten17 Productions), Percy Intalan (Idea First Company), Lily and Roselle Monteverde (Regal Films), JJ Reyes, at isang representative mula sa Solar Entertainment.

Ilan sa kanilang pinag-usapan ay (1) kung dapat bang finished movie, imbes na finished script, ang isusumiteng entries sa festival; (2) kung puwede bang sumali ang mga naipalabas nang mga pelikula sa international film fests; at (3) kung ano ang marketing issues ng mga independent producers.

Ang sumunod na pagpupulong ng producers, ayon pa rin kay Erik, ay inorganisa naman ng Star Cinema.

As of March 1, 2016 ay nakadalawang meeting na ang naturang grupo ng producers.

Some of the producers who attended the January 29 meeting included Paul Soriano (rightmost), Dondon Monteverde (left side of Paul), Malou Santos (left side of Dondon), Erik Matti (in rolled-up long sleeves and wearing eyeglasses in front row), and Mother Lily Monteverde (seated in leftmost front row).

NEW MMFF LEADERSHIP. Noong April 14, 2016 ay inanunsiyo ni MMDA at MMFF Over-all Chairman Emerson Carlos ang bagong pamunuan ng MMFF Execom 2016 para sa darating na Disyembre.

Kasabay nito ay inihayag din ang pangunahing repormang ipatutupad ng bagong liderato ng MMFF: ang mga bagong criteria at ang pagsumite ng "finished film entries."

Sa ngayon, hindi pa malinaw kung sapat na ang mga ito upang hindi na maulit ang mga kontrobersiya ng nagdaang festival.

Kung anu't ano man, ang MMFF ay mananatiling isang venue upang maipakita ang local films nang hindi nakikipag-unahan sa Hollywood films sa takilya.

  1. TIMELINE
  2. WARRING PARTIES
  3. MMFF 2015 ISSUES IN BRIEF
  4. FULL LIST OF PLAYERS
  5. THE MMFF 2015 CONTROVERSY
    THAT OPENED PANDORA'S BOX
    1. 1ST ISSUE: DATE OF APPLICATION
    2. 2ND ISSUE: REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S NONDISCLOSURE VIOLATION
    3. 3RD ISSUE: PROCEDURAL LAPSE
    4. 4TH ISSUE: DOMINIC AND MARICHU MEET WITH THE JURORS
    5. 5TH ISSUE: SHORT NOTICE OF DISQUALIFICATION
    6. 6TH ISSUE: HONOR THY FATHER PARTICIPATES IN HAWAII FILM FEST
    7. ONE-DAY-LAST-DAY PRACTICE
  6. UNRAVELLING CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN PRODUCERS & MMFF
    1. ALLEGED EVIDENCE AGAINST
      ATTY. JOJI ALONSO & DOMINIC DU
    2. QUESTIONABLE FACEBOOK POSTS
    3. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF?
    4. REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S LINKS
      TO MMFF EXECOM
    5. #WALANGFOREVER PRODUCER:
      "WE DIDN'T CHEAT TO WIN"
    6. CHAIRMAN EMERSON CARLOS ON CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST ISSUE
  7. HOW TO DISQUALIFY A MOVIE:
    JURORS TELL CONFLICTING STORIES
  8. MMFF JURORS DENY BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS
  9. DOMINIC DU DENIES INVOLVEMENT
    IN TICKET-PRICE ANOMALY

UNRAVELLING CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN PRODUCERS & MMFF

  •  
  • Investigative Report by Jo-Ann Q. Maglipon & Rachelle Siazon
  •  

Hindi maaaring isantabi ang kontrobersiyang gumimbal sa 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).

Sa sentro nito ay ang isyu sa pagitan ng Reality Entertainment producers na sina Ronald "Dondon" Monteverde at Erik Matti laban sa Quantum Films producer na si Atty. Josabeth "Joji" Alonso.

Lumahok sina Dondon at Erik sa MMFF sa pamamagitan ng pelikulang Honor Thy Father.

Habang si Atty. Joji ay nagsumite ng dalawang entries: #WalangForever at Buy Now Die Later.

Kaugnay nito, inireklamo nina Dondon at Erik na may kinalaman ang koneksiyon sa pagitan nina MMFF Executive Committee member Dominic Du at Atty. Joji sa pagkaka-disqualify ng kanilang pelikulang Honor Thy Father.

Matatandaang ang Honor Thy Father ay disqualified sa kategorya ng best picture sa 2015 MMFF Awards, ngunit pasok sa lahat ng iba pang kategorya.

Kinuwestiyon din ng Reality Entertainment ang sinasabi nitong makapangyarihang posisyon ni Dominic Du sa MMFF, dahil ang huli ay nasa Execom at iba pang sub-committees ng festival.

Maliban sa kanyang katayuan sa MMFF, si Du ay presidente ng Motion Picture Anti Film Piracy Council (MPAFPC) at booking coordinator ng National Cinema Association of the Philippines (NCAP).

Sina Du at Atty. Joji ay idiniin sa isyu ng conflict of interest.

Base ito sa tatlong Congress committee meetings kaugnay ng diumano'y iregularidad sa pamunuan ng 2015 MMFF.

Sa kabilang banda, kinuwestiyon ng mga inireklamong Execom members ang pangunguna ni Laguna Representative Dan Fernandez sa pag-imbestiga ng reklamo laban sa pamunuan ng festival.

Ito ay sa kadahilanang si Representative Fernandez ay nasa cast ng Reality Entertainment entry na Honor Thy Father.

Makahulugang tanong ni 2015 MMFF Execom member Marichu Maceda: "Where is the delicadeza?"

Kinuwestiyon naman ni Atty. Joji kung bakit siya ang dinikdik sa Kongreso.

Gayong si Dondon daw ang mayroong kasosyo sa negosyo na miyembro ng 2015 MMFF Execom at Selection Committee—si Marcus Ng.

Ano nga ba ang basehan ng conflict of interest?

Paano masasabing ginagamit ang koneksiyon para sa ikaaangat ng isa habang may natatapakang iba?

PEP INVESTIGATES. Nagsagawa ang Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP.ph) ng sariling imbestigasyon sa tinaguriang "MMFF scandal."

Ito ay sa pamamagitan ng pagkuwestiyon sa mga pangunahing sangkot sa kontrobersiya, sa pagdalo sa ginanap na tatlong pulong ng Metro Manila Development committee ng Kongreso, at sa pag-aral ng mga dokumento ng 2015 MMFF at MMD ng Kongreso.

Nakapanayam ng PEP ang mga inireklamong 2015 MMFF Executive Committee members na sina Marichu Maceda, Dominic Du, at Jesse Ejercito (January 20).

Sunod naming nakausap si MMDA Chairman at MMFF Over-all Chairman Atty. Emerson Carlos (January 28).

Nakapanayam din ng PEP ang mga nagreklamong prodyuser ng Honor Thy Father na sina Dondon Monteverde at Erik Matti (March 1).

Habang ang #WalangForever prodyuser na si Atty. Joji Alonso ay amin ring nakapanayam (March 4).

Bukod ito sa iba pang pagkakataong binalikan ng PEP ang mga nabanggit na personalidad.

Dagdag dito, gumawa ang PEP ng mga hiwalay na panayam, sa personal, sa telepono, at/o sa email, sa mga sumusunod:

MMFF juror Carmen Musngi (January 22); Romeo de Jesus ng R.S. Bernaldo & Associates auditing firm (January 27); MMFF juror Arnold Vegafria (February 4); MMFF Secretariat Executive Director Noemi Ilagan (Feb. 5); Lilybeth Vera Perez-Nakpil (Feb.9);

MMFF Execom and Mowelfund President Boots Anson-Rodrigo (Feb. 17&18); Film Academy of the Philippines Director General Leo Martinez (Feb.17 & April 15); at Quezon City 5th District Representative Alfred Vargas (April 20).

ALLEGED PARTNERSHIP. Isinagawa ang Congress meetings tungkol sa diumano'y mga iregularidad sa 2015 MMFF noong Enero 11, Enero 13, at Pebrero 18.

Ang Metro Manila Development committee ng Kongreso, na pinamumunuan ni QC Second District Representative Winston Castelo, ang siyang nangasiwa sa meetings kaugnay ng MMFF scandal.

Naimbitahan man, hindi dumating si Atty. Joji sa mga naturang meeting.

Ngunit nagpunta sa unang araw ang kanyang anak na si Atty. Antonio Alonso at ang #WalangForever director na si Dan Villegas.

Dumalo rin ang MMFF Execom member na si Dominic Du sa dalawang magkasunod na meetings, kasama ng iba pang 2015 MMFF Execom members na respondents sa reklamo.

Sa Congress meetings noong January 11 at 13, pinangalanan ni Laguna First District Representative Dan Fernandez sina Du at Atty. Joji na mayroon umanong koneksyon sa isa't isa.

Inakusahan ni Representative Fernandez si Du na 'distributor' diumano ng 2015 MMFF entries na #WalangForever at Buy Now Die Later, na parehong iprinodyus ni Atty. Joji.

Sa panayam ng PEP kina Dondon at Erik, sinabi ng dalawa na kumbinsido silang kuwestiyonable ang koneksiyon sa pagitan nina Du at Atty. Joji.

Giit ni Dondon: "There was an evidence already na may connection talaga si Dominic Du at saka si Joji.

"Number one, we found out na Joji, client niya si Dominic.

"Yun pa lang, mali na yun, e, kasi may association na 'yan, e."

Malaman naman ang naging pahayag ni Erik hinggil sa koneksiyon daw sa pagitan nina Du at Atty. Joji.

Patutsada ng Honor Thy Father director: "Even last year kasi, everybody knows in the industry that English Only Please won [Second Best Picture] because of the partnership ni Dominic at ni Joji."

Sa puntong ito ay pinigilan ni Dondon si Erik sa pag-elaborate ng ibig nitong sabihin.

Saad ni Dondon: "No, no... we don't know about that. Siyempre, we can't prove that. We can't prove.

"Ako na lang mag-e-explain nga, e. Huwag na si Erik, huwag na."

PHONE CALL BETWEEN JOJI AND DONDON. Sa pagsisiwalat naman ni Atty. Joji sa PEP—na bukod tanging kinausap niya tungkol sa isyu ng MMFF—ibang-iba ang pahayag ni Dondon sa kanya.

Bago raw kasi isinagawa ang pagpupulong sa Kongreso, nagkausap sila sa telepono.

Bilang iisa ang industriyang ginagalawan nila, magkakilala na sina Dondon at Atty. Joji.

Bukod sa pareho silang movie producers, si Atty. Joji ang tumatayong legal counsel ng isa sa mga kapatid ni Dondon.

Kaya't nang pumutok ang isyu tungkol sa tinagurian ni Erik sa kanyang Twitter account na "#MMFF2015scandal," tinawagan ni Atty. Joji si Dondon.

Ito raw ay upang alamin kung bakit ang abugada ang itinuturong prodyuser na diumano'y nakipagsabwatan sa isang MMFF official upang madiskwalipika sa best-picture category ang Honor Thy Father.

Kuwento ni Atty. Joji sa PEP: "Sabi ko sa kanya, 'Don, what's going on? Ano bang galit sa akin ni Erik? Ano bang ginawa ko sa inyo?'"

Sa palagay ng abugada, walang rason upang magalit sa kanya si Dondon dahil magkakilala sila, at minsa'y naghihiraman pa ng artista para sa kanilang mga pelikula.

"And then, yun nga, I happen to be the lawyer of his brother," patuloy na lahad ni Atty. Joji.

"So, I said, 'Don, you know how much I've put in the case of your brother.

'''Halos mag-camp out na lang ako kung saan-saan, nag-aabang ng mangyayari sa kaso and all that.

'''And you honestly think that I will do something to disqualify your film?

'''Anong klaseng victory sa akin yun kung mananalo ako over you because dinaya ko kayo?

'''Ang cheap nun.'''

Ngunit tila paiwas daw ang naging sagot ni Dondon.

Kuwento pa rin ni Atty. Joji: "Sabi niya, 'Hindi, wala naman yun, Joji. Erik is a loose cannon. I cannot control him.'

"Sabi ko, 'I don't believe that. I don't believe that you can't do anything about it.'

"Sabi ko lang, 'Sana, Don, isipin mo lang, the awards are not the end-all of anything. It's not."

Nag-hypothetical statement pa raw si Atty. Joji: '''If I have a voice in that decision-making process, it's either you will be totally disqualified or you will not be disqualified at all.

'''Because, walang sense sa akin na hindi kayo papanalunin sa best picture, e.

'''Kasama kayo sa festival, e. Tinanggap kayo dun, e.

'''So, bakit kayo hindi isasali for just one award?''

Naganap daw ang pag-uusap sa pagitan nila Atty. Joji at Dondon bandang "late December" 2015 o "early January" 2016.

  1. TIMELINE
  2. WARRING PARTIES
  3. MMFF 2015 ISSUES IN BRIEF
  4. FULL LIST OF PLAYERS
  5. THE MMFF 2015 CONTROVERSY
    THAT OPENED PANDORA'S BOX
    1. 1ST ISSUE: DATE OF APPLICATION
    2. 2ND ISSUE: REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S NONDISCLOSURE VIOLATION
    3. 3RD ISSUE: PROCEDURAL LAPSE
    4. 4TH ISSUE: DOMINIC AND MARICHU MEET WITH THE JURORS
    5. 5TH ISSUE: SHORT NOTICE OF DISQUALIFICATION
    6. 6TH ISSUE: HONOR THY FATHER PARTICIPATES IN HAWAII FILM FEST
    7. ONE-DAY-LAST-DAY PRACTICE
  6. UNRAVELLING CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN PRODUCERS & MMFF
    1. ALLEGED EVIDENCE AGAINST
      ATTY. JOJI ALONSO & DOMINIC DU
    2. QUESTIONABLE FACEBOOK POSTS
    3. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF?
    4. REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S LINKS
      TO MMFF EXECOM
    5. #WALANGFOREVER PRODUCER:
      "WE DIDN'T CHEAT TO WIN"
    6. CHAIRMAN EMERSON CARLOS ON CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST ISSUE
  7. HOW TO DISQUALIFY A MOVIE:
    JURORS TELL CONFLICTING STORIES
  8. MMFF JURORS DENY BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS
  9. DOMINIC DU DENIES INVOLVEMENT
    IN TICKET-PRICE ANOMALY

ALLEGED EVIDENCE AGAINST
ATTY. JOJI ALONSO & DOMINIC DU

  •  
  • Investigative Report by Jo-Ann Q. Maglipon & Rachelle Siazon
  •  

Nang magsimula ang pulong sa Kongreso ay diretsahang kinuwestiyon ni Ronald "Dondon" Monteverde ang "hidden agenda" at "conflict of interest" sa pamunuan ng 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival.

Partikular na rito ang diumano'y makapangyarihang MMFF Execom member na si Dominic Du, ang itinuturong opisyal na may ugnayan kay Atty. Josabeth "Joji" Alonso.

Sa hiwalay na panayam ng PEP, ang inulit-ulit ng kampo ng Reality Entertainment ay ang dalawang ebidensiyang isinumite ni Laguna First District Representative Dan Fernandez sa Kongreso.

In the January 11 Congress meeting, Laguna Representative Fernandez shows a copy of a letter written by Atty. Joji, in behalf of Dominic Du, responding to FAP Director General Leo Martinez.

Una na rito ang legal letter, dated April 10, 2014, na isinulat ni Atty. Joji para sa kanyang "client" na si Dominic Du, bilang sagot sa sulat ni Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) Director General Leo Martinez.

Pangalawa ay ang screenshots ng Facebook page ng Axinite Digicinema Inc., kung saan iprinomote ang pelikulang #WalangForever at Buy Now Die Later.

Ang Axinite ay isang kumpanyang nagdi-distribute ng foreign films, kung saan 50 percent owner si Du.

Pagbatikos ni Dondon kina Du at Atty. Joji: "Ano ba yung facts dito? Okay, number one, walang association dapat.

"Bakit ang lawyer mo pinapasali mo, di ba?

"Number two, e, mukhang ikaw pa yung nagbu-book ng pelikula niya sa Metro Manila Filmfest, na bawal naman yun.

"E, Execom ka, e. Ba't ka nagbu-book ng pelikula?"

DU DENIES PARTNERSHIP WITH ATTY. JOJI. Iginiit ni Du na walang katotohanan ang ibinabato sa kanilang dalawa ni Atty. Joji.

Sa eksklusibong panayam ng PEP, sinabi ni Du na hindi siya binigyan ng Kongreso ng sapat na pagkakataong ipaliwanag ang sarili.

Inihayag nito sa PEP: "Atty. Joji happens to be the lawyer also of National Cinema Association [of The Philippines or NCAP], di ba?

"So, because of one letter na she wrote in my behalf—'yan ang ginagawang proof of our connection?"

Sa nirekord ng PEP na minutes ng Congress meetings, mapapansin sa line of questioning ni Congressman Fernandez ang pagdiin nitong si Atty. Joji ay "personal" na legal counsel ni Du.

Ngunit mariin itong pinabulaanan ni Atty. Joji.

Quantum Films producer Atty. Joji Alonso and MMFF Execom member Dominic Du

ATTY. JOJI ON LAWYERING FOR DU. Ayon sa abugada, umakto siya hindi lamang bilang legal counsel ni Du kundi para rin sa NCAP, ang organisasyon ng theater owners sa bansa.

Layunin umano ng April 2014 legal letter na klaruhing hindi maaaring direktang i-remit ng Metro Manila theater owners sa FAP at iba pang beneficiaries ang nakukulektang amusement tax mula sa ticket prices kada MMFF.

Paliwanag ni Atty. Joji: "The letter that they showed is a letter that we wrote to the FAP in behalf of Dominic and the group that he represented, which is the National Cinemas Association of The Philippines.

"So, the Film Academy of the Philippines [FAP] sued MMFF, and at the same time included Dominic Du being the chairman of the booking committee, thinking that as the chairman of the booking committee, he heads all the theaters as well.

"That's not correct. He's not the head."

Binanggit ni Atty. Joji na ang chairman of the board ng NCAP ay si Ng Meng Tam (Regal Entertainment incorporator and president of the Metro Manila Theater Association) at ang acting president ay si Atty. Rolly Dueas (Deputy General Manager of Ayala Malls).

Sina Atty. Dueas at Du umano ang kumuha kay Atty. Joji bilang legal counsel ng NCAP.

BACKSTORY: FAP COMPLAINT. Nagsampa ng reklamo ang FAP laban sa pamunuan ng MMFF noong January 2014 dahil umano kulang-kulang ang natatanggap ng FAP na proceeds ng festival.

Hanggang sa kasalukuyan ay "live case" ang inihaing reklamo ng FAP sa Quezon City Prosecutor's Office.

Paliwanag ni Atty. Joji, "The issue there is the FAP wanted the theaters to directly remit the amusement taxes to the beneficiaries.

"Yun yung gusto nila. Huwag na idaan sa MMFF. Mali yun."

Patuloy na paliwanag ni Atty. Joji tungkol sa posisyon ng NCAP hinggil sa hinihinging pera ni Leo Martinez: "Delikado ang sinehan because they're supposed to remit. These are taxes, e.

"Government funds 'yan, e, ang taxes.

"So, hindi mo puwede idiretso sa beneficiaries. You're not allowed under the law to do that.

"The law is very clear, you remit that to the MMFF, which is exactly what the cinemas have been doing.

"[Remit] all the collected taxes during the duration of the Metro Manila Film Festival, in so far as Metro Manila is concerned.

"Kasi ang provinces, hindi included, e. They [Manila theater owners] remit to the MMFF."

Nang tanungin ng PEP kung bakit si Du lamang ang nabanggit niyang "client" sa 2014 legal letter, nilinaw ng abugada na ito ay dahil napagkamalan ni Leo na si Du ang namumuno ng organisasyon ng theater owners sa bansa.

Paliwanag ni Atty. Joji, "At the time, originally kasi ang idinemanda nila is Dominic Du lang.

"But we entered our appearance as NCAP represented by Dominic Du.

"Kasi ang link niya, he cannot act on his own, e."

WHERE DOES AMUSEMENT TAX GO? Saan nga ba napupunta ang amusement tax—o ang proceeds mula sa MMFF entries— kada taon?

Napag-alaman ng PEP, na sa loob ng 10-day festival kada taon, nire-remit ng Metro Manila theaters ang amusement tax (mula sa ticket price ng MMFF entries) sa MMFF Execom.

Ang MMFF Execom ang itinalagang "trustee" ng festival proceeds, alinsunod sa Metro Manila Commission (MMC) Executive Order 86-09.

Ang makukulektang amusement tax ay paghahatian naman ng mga beneficiaries na itinalaga ng Office of the President.

Ang mga beneficiaries para sa 2015 MMFF ay: Movie Workers Welfare Foundation, Inc. (MOWELFUND), Film Academy of The Philippines (FAP), Motion Picture Anti Film Piracy Council (MPAFP), Optical Media Board (OMB), at Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP).

Ang probisyon ng MMC Executive Order 86-09, at presidential proclamations na kaakibat nito, ang nagsisilbing batayan ng alituntunin ng Metro Manila Film Festival.

  1. TIMELINE
  2. WARRING PARTIES
  3. MMFF 2015 ISSUES IN BRIEF
  4. FULL LIST OF PLAYERS
  5. THE MMFF 2015 CONTROVERSY
    THAT OPENED PANDORA'S BOX
    1. 1ST ISSUE: DATE OF APPLICATION
    2. 2ND ISSUE: REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S NONDISCLOSURE VIOLATION
    3. 3RD ISSUE: PROCEDURAL LAPSE
    4. 4TH ISSUE: DOMINIC AND MARICHU MEET WITH THE JURORS
    5. 5TH ISSUE: SHORT NOTICE OF DISQUALIFICATION
    6. 6TH ISSUE: HONOR THY FATHER PARTICIPATES IN HAWAII FILM FEST
    7. ONE-DAY-LAST-DAY PRACTICE
  6. UNRAVELLING CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN PRODUCERS & MMFF
    1. ALLEGED EVIDENCE AGAINST
      ATTY. JOJI ALONSO & DOMINIC DU
    2. QUESTIONABLE FACEBOOK POSTS
    3. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF?
    4. REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S LINKS
      TO MMFF EXECOM
    5. #WALANGFOREVER PRODUCER:
      "WE DIDN'T CHEAT TO WIN"
    6. CHAIRMAN EMERSON CARLOS ON CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST ISSUE
  7. HOW TO DISQUALIFY A MOVIE:
    JURORS TELL CONFLICTING STORIES
  8. MMFF JURORS DENY BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS
  9. DOMINIC DU DENIES INVOLVEMENT
    IN TICKET-PRICE ANOMALY

QUESTIONABLE FACEBOOK POSTS

  •  
  • Investigative Report by Jo-Ann Q. Maglipon & Rachelle Siazon
  •  

Hindi lang ang lawyer-client relationship nina Atty. Joji Alonso at Dominic Du ang nasilip sa Congress meetings.

Naging sentro rin ng espekulasyon ang pag-promote sa dalawang Metro Manila Film Festival entries ng Quantum Films, ang #WalangForever at Buy Now Die Later, sa Facebook page ng Axinite Digicinema Inc.

Representative Dan Fernandez (in suit) shows screen shots of Axinite Digicinema Inc.'s Facebook page where #Walang Forever and Buy Now Die Later were promoted days before the festival period.

Base sa interpolasyon ni Laguna Representative Dan Fernandez kay Du, tila ipinahihiwatig ng kongresista na mayroong business partnership sa pagitan ng huli at ng abugada.

Mariin itong itinanggi ni Du.

Iginiit ni Du na nalaman na lamang niya ang Facebook posts nang ihayag ito ni Representative Fernandez sa Kongreso.

Sabi pa ni Du, tanging foreign films lamang ang dini-distribute ng Axinite, kung saan isa siya sa incorporators.

Pahayag ni Du, "As a matter of fact, hindi ko nga alam, e.

"Yung in-charge sa Facebook account namin sa Axinite, nilagay yung poster niya [Atty. Joji's MMFF entries], parang tulong."

Habang itinatanggi ni Du na siya ang distributor ng #Walang Forever at Buy Now Die Later, pinutol ni Representative Fernandez ang kanyang interpolasyon at ipinakita sa komite ng Kongreso ang diumano'y dalawang ebidensiyang nagpapatunay ng koneksiyon nina Atty. Joji at Du.

Sinabi ni Du sa PEP na panay ang taas niya ng kamay sa gitna ng mainit na diskusyon sa Kongreso upang ipaliwanag ang kanyang panig.

Ngunit hindi raw siya tinawag ni minsan ng komite, bagay na nakita rin ng PEP na dumalo sa miting upang isulat ang mga pangyayari sa MMFF.

Kalaunan, kinumpirma ni Atty. Joji sa PEP na walang kinalaman si Du sa pag-promote ng #WalangForever at Buy Now Die Later sa Axinite Facebook page.

Inamin sa amin ng abugada na siya ang nagpalagay sa links ng dalawa niyang MMFF entries sa isang empleyado ng Axinite.

Ngunit iginiit ni Atty. Joji na hindi ito nangangahulugang distributor niya si Du.

Bagay na taliwas naman sa espekulasyon ng Reality Entertainment at ni Representative Fernandez.

Mariing saad ni Atty. Joji, "Dyusko, maglagay lang sa Facebook, distributor ko na talaga?

"Eto, kung may itinatago ako, bakit ako magpapalagay sa Facebook?

"Itatago ko yun. May itinatago ako, di ba? Bakit ko ipapalagay?"

JUST A REQUEST. Hindi raw akalain ni Atty. Joji na magiging sentro ng espekulasyon ang umano'y simpleng pakiusap niya sa isang empleyado ng Axinite na si Grace Banson.

Nagkataon lang umano na madalas niyang makita si Banson, na siya ring tumatao sa opisina ng Motion Picture Anti Film Piracy Council (MPAFPC) sa may Panay Avenue, Quezon City.

Si Dominic Du ang president ng MPAFPC, kung saan ang chairman of the board ay si Remy Monteverde, ama ni Dondon Monteverde.

Patuloy na saad ni Atty. Joji, "You know what happened there? Employee ng Axinite si Grace Banson.

"Ayaw na nilang mag-hire ng tao sa Anti Film Piracy Council.

"Siya [Banson] yung parang tumatao sa Anti-Film Piracy Council, [taga-asikaso sa] kung ano yung mga problems doon.

"Siguro, may additional compensation siya. I guess so, I never asked.

"But, in all likelihood, she gets additional compensation because she helps out in the Anti Piracy [MPAFPC].

"Pero empleyado siya ng Axinite. Siya ang administrator ng Facebook.

"E, may mga meetings kami dun. Tuesday meetings, booking schedules.

"Yung regular Tuesday meetings, nagkikita kami ni Grace.

"E, wala kaming perang pang-advertise. Sabi ko kay Grace, 'Grace, di ba, may Facebook page ang Axinite? Sali mo naman kami diyan.'

"Without thinking, I don't know, mali talaga, wala kasi talagang malice sa akin.

"Sa akin, 'Tulong naman, baka sakali lang, since andiyan kayo sa Facebook. Lagay mo naman profile pic.'"

Paliwanag pa ni Atty. Joji, may iba ring Filipino films na minsang pinu-promote sa Axinite Digicinema Facebook page.

NO COMPENSATION FOR POST. Kaya raw naisipan ng abugada na walang diperensiya kung humingi siya ng parehong pabor.

Pagkumpirma pa ng abugada, "Talagang tumulong [si Banson], kasi nga lawyer ako ng Anti Piracy [MPAFPC], nakakausap ko yung tao, nakisuyo ako.

"I never paid her. I did not give her a single centavo for putting that [post].

"Hindi lang naman ako.

"In the past, meron din naman Regal Films, prinomote din nila yung Pre-Nup diyan."

Posters for 2015 MMFF entries #WalangForever and Buy Now Die Later

Gayunman, hindi naiwasang magkaroon ng espekulasyong magkasosyo sina Atty. Joji at Du pagdating sa produksyon at distribusyon ng #WalangForever at Buy Now Die Later.

Bunsod ito ng akusasyon ni Representative Fernandez na "distributor" ni Atty. Joji si Du, dala ng pag-post ng links ng #WalangForever at Buy Now Die Later trailers sa Axinite Facebook page.

Mayroon pating patakaran ang MMFF na bawal sa isang MMFF official na magkaroon ng ugnayan sa isang participating producer up to fourth level of consanguinity o affinity.

Sa kasalukuyan ay burado na sa Axinite Digicinema Facebook page ang naturang links.

Ngunit makikita pa rin sa December 18 Twitter post ng Axinite Digicinema ang link ng trailer ng #WalangForever sa Facebook page ng foreign-film distribution company.

REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S REBUTTAL. Kaugnay nito, tahasang sinabi ng Reality Entertainment na nagsinungaling si Du nang itanggi ng huli ang pagiging distributor ng Filipino films.

Buwelta ni Direk Erik kay Du, "If you go deeper kasi, yung perjury, kaya galit na galit ako sa Congress nung nagsalita talaga sa gitna ng kuwan?

"Sabi ko, '[Expletive] Congress 'to, papabayaan ba nating magsinungaling 'yan?'

"Kasi kapag binaba mo yung Facebook page na 'yon, Pre-Nup, ano yung kay Mother [Lily Monteverde]? Pre-Nup, Heneral Luna, nandun lahat.

"But he only claimed that 'I only distribute foreign films.'

"Sinong niloloko mo? Hindi naman kami tanga, di ba?"

Sinabi rin ni Dondon na alam diumano sa showbiz circles na nagdi-distribute ng local films si Du.

Bilang ebidensiya, mayroon umanong kopya si Dondon ng screenshots ng sariling Facebook account ni Du na nagpo-promote ng #WalangForever at Buy Now Die Later. Hindi lang raw niya inilalabas pa sa Kongreso.

Giit pa ni Dondon, "Pero, why among all the [2015 MMFF] films, bakit yung dalawa lang ang nandun sa Facebook ng Axinite?

"Nakakapagtaka. Yun ang line of questioning nila [sa Congress], di ba?

"Kaya nga andun yung link, di ba? Two links [ng #WalangForever and Buy Now Die Later].

"One, they broke the rules already for that na in association [Dominic as Atty. Joji's client in 2014] na bawal.

"Number two, 'yan [Axinite Digicinema's promotion of Atty. Joji's MMFF entries]. Di ba, another association?"

NO BUSINESS ASSOCIATION. Nanindigan pa rin ang 2015 MMFF Execom member na si Dominic Du na walang katotohanan ang alegasyon laban sa kanya.

Kontra-pahayag ni Du sa panayam ng PEP, "I have no investment in any of those entries.

"Not only last year, but even in previous years, I've never invested in any of the festival entries."

Kaya noong kasagsagan ng Congress meetings tungkol sa MMFF "scandal," kinausap raw ni Du si Atty. Joji na ayusin ang kontrobersiyang kinasasangkutan nila.

Lahad ni Du tungkol sa pakikipag-usap niya sa Quantum Films producer, "Sabi ko, 'It's not fair. You have to come out and deny this one.'

"They gave me a certification, denying that I have any investment [or] connection [to Quantum Films].

"Kasi 'yon ang sinasabi nila [sa Congress meetings], e, na I'm the producer daw of the two entries!

"Basically, they did not mention the title, but practically yun ang pini-pinpoint nila."

Ang kopya ng certification—na pirmado ni Atty. Joji Alonso—na nagpapatunay na hindi konektado si Dominic Du sa Quantum Films ay narito:

Sa parte naman ni Atty. Joji, iginiit niya sa PEP na walang katotohanan ang alegasyong mayroon silang business partnership ni Du.

Kontra-sagot ng Quantum Films producer, "Incorporator ba ako ng Axinite? Show me.

"I have nothing to do with Axinite."

Sabi ng producer-lawyer, nakarating sa kanyang ipinalabas sa pagpupulong sa Kongreso na co-producers sila ni Du.

Base raw ito sa obserbasyon ng kanyang anak na si Atty. Antonio Alonso, na siyang dumalo sa Congress meetings hinggil sa diumano'y mga iregularidad sa 2015 MMFF.

ATTY. JOJI: ONE OF MY PRODUCERS IS NANDO ORTIGAS. Kontra-pahayag ni Atty. Joji: "When you say you"re a producer, you're funding the film.

"I have my books any time.

"Natatawa lang ako kasi one of my producers is Nando Ortigas.

"I don't need a Dominic Du because I have Nando Ortigas to fund my film."

Ang tinutukoy ni Atty. Joji na Fernando "Nando" Ortigas ay isa sa investors ng pelikulang Heneral Luna, na iprinodyus ng Artikulo Uno Productions at dinistribute ng Quantum Films.

Ayaw man daw magmayabang ng abugada, kumpiyansa siyang kaya niyang itawid ang pagprodyus ng isang pelikula sa ilalim ng kanyang Quantum Films.

Hindi umano big time ang Quantum Films kumpara sa ibang malalaking film companies ng bansa.

"But I have enough funds for me to tide over for the film," saad ni Atty. Joji.

"Yun nga lang, I don't want us to have a big budget on purpose.

"Because I don't want us to suffer in the event that the movie will not make money.

"Yun lang naman ang reason ko.

"But I have enough money."

Giit pa ni Atty. Joji, "And why should I involve Dominic Du in the production of the film, knowing for a fact that that's not right?

"Because, if Dominic invests in the film, then that's cheating.

"Because, di ba, there's a major conflict of interest there—because he's the producer of the film, tapos siya ang magse-select [ng entries]?"

(L-R): Atty. Joji, Ed Rocha, and Fernando Ortigas at My Candidate presscon on May 3, 2016

DOMINIC DEFENDS SELF. Inalmahan din ni Dominic Du ang pilit na pinapalabas sa Congress meetings na co-producers sila ni Atty. Joji.

Sabi ni Du, "Ito, logic lang. Ikaw si Fernando Ortigas, papayag ka bang hindi ikaw ang totoong producer? Somebody else's name ang mag-a-appear? E, ikaw ang producer?

"You think Fernando Ortigas will agree? It is on record. He's one of the producers.

"So, mag-a-appear na pina-insinuate nila na ako ang producer."

Dahil umano sa pagdiin sa kanya sa Kongreso, yun ang "pinick-up" ng TV news reporters na nag-cover ng January 13 meeting.

Mas maraming media reporters ang nag-cover ng January 13 Congress meeting, dahil dinaluhan ito ng Honor Thy Father lead star at co-producer na si John Lloyd Cruz.

Lahad ni Du tungkol sa naipalabas na ulat ng TV Patrol noong araw na iyon: "Ang point ko is, hindi ba nila naisip?

"'MMFF Execom member Dominic Du, producer ng dalawang entry?"

"Specified, dun sa baba nakasulat [sa character generator] "producer" without naming what film."

Dugtong pa ni Du, "Is that possible? Sina Fernando Ortigas, sina [Ed] Rocha, parang a-appear, ano, dummy sila?"

Quantum Films producer Atty. Joji Alonso delivers speech for winning Best Picture Award for #WalangForever at MMFF 2015 Awards Night. Standing behind Atty. Joji is her #WalangForever co-producer Fernando Ortigas.

  1. TIMELINE
  2. WARRING PARTIES
  3. MMFF 2015 ISSUES IN BRIEF
  4. FULL LIST OF PLAYERS
  5. THE MMFF 2015 CONTROVERSY
    THAT OPENED PANDORA'S BOX
    1. 1ST ISSUE: DATE OF APPLICATION
    2. 2ND ISSUE: REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S NONDISCLOSURE VIOLATION
    3. 3RD ISSUE: PROCEDURAL LAPSE
    4. 4TH ISSUE: DOMINIC AND MARICHU MEET WITH THE JURORS
    5. 5TH ISSUE: SHORT NOTICE OF DISQUALIFICATION
    6. 6TH ISSUE: HONOR THY FATHER PARTICIPATES IN HAWAII FILM FEST
    7. ONE-DAY-LAST-DAY PRACTICE
  6. UNRAVELLING CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN PRODUCERS & MMFF
    1. ALLEGED EVIDENCE AGAINST
      ATTY. JOJI ALONSO & DOMINIC DU
    2. QUESTIONABLE FACEBOOK POSTS
    3. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF?
    4. REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S LINKS
      TO MMFF EXECOM
    5. #WALANGFOREVER PRODUCER:
      "WE DIDN'T CHEAT TO WIN"
    6. CHAIRMAN EMERSON CARLOS ON CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST ISSUE
  7. HOW TO DISQUALIFY A MOVIE:
    JURORS TELL CONFLICTING STORIES
  8. MMFF JURORS DENY BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS
  9. DOMINIC DU DENIES INVOLVEMENT
    IN TICKET-PRICE ANOMALY

HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF?

  •  
  • Investigative Report by Jo-Ann Q. Maglipon & Rachelle Siazon
  •  

Ang usapin ng conflict of interest sa MMFF ay nagpapatunay kung gaano kakumplikado ang sanga-sangang koneksiyon ng mga tao sa maliit na industriya ng pelikula.

Napag-alaman ng PEP na ang banggaan sa pagitan ng producers na sina Atty. Joji Alonso at Dondon Monteverde ay mayroong pagkakahawig sa isyung naganap 12 taon na ang nakararaan.

Noong 2004 MMFF, sinubukan ni Atty. Joji na isali ang pelikula niyang Minsan Pa, sa ilalim ng MLR Films, ngunit hindi ito nakapasok sa walong official entries.

Kabilang sa walo ang Aishite Imasu 1941: Mahal Kita; Enteng Kabisote: Okay Ka, Fairy Ko: The Legend; Lastikman: Unang Banat; Mano Po III: My Love; Panaghoy sa Suba; Sigaw; So... Happy Together; at Spirit of the Glass.

Kasabay nito ay nagsampa ng reklamo si Atty. Joji sa pamunuan ng MMFF Execom. Ang kanyang reklamo: Hinayaan ng MMFF na magsumite ang Regal Films ng apat na entries—Mano Po III, So... Happy Together (a.k.a. Que Sera Sera), Aishite Imasu, at Sigaw.

Binase ng abugada ang kanyang reklamo sa governing rules ng MMFF ng taong iyon: hanggang dalawang film entries lamang ang maaaring isumite ng isang film company.

Lahad ni Atty. Joji, "I was complaining to the MMFF because my position was, at the time, Regal Films for me made a violation by submitting four entries in 2004.

"I even wrote a very strong letter to the MMFF, at the time, questioning why one film outfit will be allowed to field four entries.

"Because the rules then said that you can submit one entry plus one from a sister company.

"But in that instance, I questioned the involvement of two other film outfits."

Ang So... Happy Together ang isinumiteng entry ng Regal Films noong MMFF 2004; habang ang Mano Po III ay mula sa MAQ Films, kilalang sister company ng Regal Films.

Ang Aishite Imashu 1941 ay iprinodyus ng BAS Films, habang ang Sigaw ay mula sa MegaVision, mga film companies na konektado sa Regal Films.

TWO PLUS TWO EQUALS FOUR FILMS. Nang magsampa ng reklamo si Atty. Joji, itinanggi ng Regal Films matriarch Lily "Mother Lily" Monteverde, ina ni Dondon, na konektado siya sa MegaVision at BASFilms.

Kinuwestiyon naman ni Atty. Joji ang pagkuha ng Mega Vision sa Regal Films bilang "line producer" ng Sigaw.

Lalo pa raw at alam sa industriya na mas malaking film outfit di hamak ang Regal Films ni Mother Lily kumpara sa MegaVision.

Paliwanag ng Quantum Films producer: "That particular entity [Sigaw] was supposed to have engaged the services of Regal to be [Sigaw's] line producer.

"So, how is it even possible that the one fielding the film is getting a line producer that has a capitalization of a billion?

"And here you are, the supposed participant [MegaVision], and your paid-up capital is only P50,000."

PRESSCON ANNOUNCEMENT VS. MMFF DEFENSE. Katakataka rin, ayon kay Atty. Joji, na mismong si Mother Lily ang naghayag sa isang presscon na kanya ang pelikulang Aishite Imasu 1941 at doon ay sinabi pa nitong "proud" siya sa paglabas nito.

Ngunit nang naghain na ng reklamo si Atty. Joji, itinanggi ng Regal Films matriarch na siya ang nagprodyus ng Aishite Imasu 1941.

Ang pahayag ni Mother Lily—na itinatanggi mayroon siyang apat na MMFF entries—ay base sa sulat na ipinadala nito sa pamunuan ng MMFF, na nailathala sa Philippine Daily Inquirer noong 2004.

Balik-tanaw ng abugada: "And the other one, Aishite Imasu, which is the film of [actor] Dennis Trillo at the time, there was even a press conference that Mother Lily said that she's so proud of the film—her film.

"I totally forgot what defense she [gave] with regard to this particular film, that it's not supposed to be hers. Hindi ko na talaga maalala.

"But I found it really absurd that she was openly saying in the presscon that she's proud of the film, it's her film, and she's part of it—but now it's not hers."

Ayon pa kay Atty. Joji, ang kanyang ipinaglaban noon ay hindi ang makapasok sa 2004 MMFF ang kanyang entry na Minsan Pa, kundi ang maaksyunan ang paglabag ng pamunuan ng festival ng mismong patakaran nito.

Lahad ng abugada, "They were saying, ang layo naman [sa MMFF ranking] ng entry ko na Minsan Pa. Sabi ko, 'That's not the point.'

"The point is, two of the entries that made it to the Final 8 are not supposed to be part of it.

"Two other entries, which should have been in the Top 8, were not able to make it because of that.

"I don't know which were the lower two films, but I presume it would be Sigaw and Aishite Imasu.

"Because, naturally, Mano Po would be up there. And then there's another film [So... Happy Together] that [Lily Monteverde] did."

THE NG MENG TAM CONNECTION. Noong panahong iyon, isa sa mga tumatayong MMFF Execom members ay ang kasosyo ni Mother Lily sa industriya na si Ng Meng Tam.

Ang anak nitong si Marcus Ng ay isa sa Selection Committee members.

Si Ng Meng Tam, base sa nakalap na dokumento ng PEP mula sa Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), ay incorporator at stockholder ng Regal Entertainment, isang kumpanyang pag-aari ni Mother Lily.

Hindi maiwasang mabigyan ng kulay ang koneksiyon ni Mother Lily sa isang MMFF official dahil sa reklamo ni Atty. Joji sa pamunuan ng MMFF.

Ngunit ayon kay Atty. Joji, kinumbinsi raw siya ng grupo nina Ric Camaligan, Wilson Tieng, Dominic Du, at dalawa pang kataong noon lamang nakilala ng abugada, na huwag nang ituloy ang reklamo laban sa MMFF Execom.

Sina Camaligan at Tieng ay parehong nagsilbi bilang hurado ng 2004 MMFF.

Pagbalik-alala ni Atty. Joji: "At the time, at the back of my mind, there's a mafia here somewhere. That was at the back of my mind.

"Why are they protecting the entries that are not supposed to be part of the festival?"

Ngunit sa huli ay nagdesisyon daw si Atty. Joji na huwag nang ituloy ang kanyang reklamo dahil ayaw niyang dumating sa punto na imbes na makatulong sa pelikulang Pilipino ay pakinabangan pa ito ng mga kumpanyang nais mamayagpag ang foreign films.

Saad ni Atty. Joji: "Some of my friends said, 'Pursue it. Get a TRO [Temporary Restraining Order]. Stop the MMFF.'

"And then I said to myself, if I did such a thing, it would be a disservice to the Filipino people. Because that would mean that it would be the foreign films that would be shown during Christmas time!

"I would not do that. I would not allow myself to be used by any foreign distribution company to stop the MMFF.

"There may be errors that have been committed here, but it's not enough for me to allow the MMFF not to proceed.

"Hindi kaya ng konsensiya ko yun. So I let it be."

Sa sumunod na taon ng MMFF, ginawa na nitong patakaran na walang limit ang entries na maaaring isumite ng isang film company.

Pagkuwento ni Atty. Joji, nagmarka sa kanya si Dominic Du noon.

Aniya, "So, that's how I met Dominic Du.

"I disliked him like anything. Sa totoo lang, I disliked him like anything.

"Because I felt he's so protective of Mother. And he knows it. Kaaway ko siya."

Hindi ulit sumubok si Atty. Joji na sumali sa MMFF mula 2005 hanggang 2012.

THE MONTEVERDE FILM COMPANY. Ang Regal Films ni Mother Lily Monteverde ay isa sa mga film production companies na matagal na at malaki ang exposure sa Metro Manila Film Festival.

Year of MMFF

Regal Films' entries

2005

Mano Po 4: Ako Legal Wife; Mulawin The Movie; Blue Moon (co-produced with GMA Films)

2006

Mano Po: Gua Ay Di; Shake Rattle and Roll 8; Super Noypi; Zsa Zsa Zaturnah

2007

Bahay Kubo: A Pinoy Mano Po!; Shake Rattle & Roll 9; Desperadas

2008

Desperadas 2; Shake, Rattle & Roll 10.

2009

Mano Po 6; Shake, Rattle, & Roll 11

2010

Shake, Rattle, & Roll 12; Super Inday

2011

Shake, Rattle & Roll 13; Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

2012

Shake Rattle & Roll 14

2013

Pagpag: Siyam Na Buhay (co-produced with Star Cinema)

2014

Shake Rattle & Roll 15

REGAL FILMS AND REALITY FILMS VS. QUANTUM FILMS. Noong 2011, parte na ng history ng MMFF ang pagkakadiskwalipika nito ng Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow ng Regal Films.

Ang diskwalipikasyon ay mula sa apat na kategorya: best picture, best director, best screenplay, at Gatpuno Antonio Villegas awards.

Ito ay sa kadahilanang nilabag ng Regal Films ang patakarang hindi maaaring baguhin ang kuwento sa naunang script na isinumite sa MMFF.

Nang sumunod na taon, 2012, isinumite ng Regal Films ang Shake Rattle & Roll 14 bilang MMFF entry.

Ito ang taong muling sumali si Atty. Joji sa MMFF, at ang The Strangers ang kanyang entry.

Noong 2013, ang isinumiteng entry ng Regal Films ay Pagpag: Siyam Na Buhay, na co-produced with Star Cinema.

Mayroon ding entry noon ang tatlong nagsanib na film companies, ang Spring Films, MJM Productions, at Quantum Films, na Kimmy Dora: Ang Kiyemeng Prequel.

Noong 2014, ang MMFF entry ng Regal Films ay ang Shake Rattle & Roll 15.

Ito ang unang beses na sumali sa MMFF ang Reality Entertainment, na pag-aari nina Dondon Monteverde at Erik Matti, at ang kanilang entry ay ang Kubot: The Aswang Chronicles 2.

Habang ang Quantum Films, Tuko Films, at MJM Productions ay nagsumite sa MMFF ng English Only, Please.

Taong 2015 naman nang magsumite sa MMFF ang Quantum Films ng #WalangForever, habang nagsumite ang Reality Films ng Honor Thy Father.

QUESTIONABLE CONNECTIONS. Base rito, makikitang pare-parehong nabigyan ng pagkakataon ang Regal Films, Reality Entertainment, at Quantum Films na makasali sa MMFF mula 2012 hanggang 2015.

Ngunit nanindigan sina Dondon at Erik na hindi maaaring ipagsawalang-bahala ang pagkapanalo ng pelikula ni Atty. Joji bilang best picture noong 2015.

Kuwestiyonable raw kasi ang koneksiyon ng abugada sa MMFF official na si Dominic.

Giit ni Dondon sa PEP: "Kasi, at the end of the day, alam naman natin kung saan papunta 'yan.

"Ito lang yung akin, I'm not... hindi ko siya pinagbibintangan, ito lang naman ang malinaw na istorya kapag iisipin ko, e.

"Importante yung best picture award na 'yan. It can draw an audience to watch your film at the end of the day.

"Pero marami ring nagsasabi sa amin na Dominic talaga was the one who was pushing for the disqualification [of Honor Thy Father]."

Ayon kay Dondon, mahirap "lusutan" ni Atty. Joji ang pagiging "madikit" niya sa isang MMFF official na nasangkot sa isyu ng conflict of interest noong 2015 festival.

Sabi pa ng Reality Entertainment producer, "May kanya-kanyang ways naman kasi for producers to do their stuff, e, di ba?

"Kung gagawa ka ng ganyan, kung hindi makita ng ibang tao, puwede kang lumusot.

"Pero mga iba naman, di ba, you know, iba-iba yung style, e. In any business, may kanya-kanyang style 'yan, 'no?

"Kung ganyan yung style niya na medyo, na madikit siya sa mga ano... Then ganun lang 'yon."

Aminado si Dondon na mahirap patunayan na magkasosyo sa negosyo sina Dominic Du at Atty. Joji.

Pero sapat na raw ang ebidensiyang ipinakita ni Representative Fernandez sa Kongreso upang makuwestiyon ang ugnayan ng dalawa.

Sabi ni Dondon: "Kaya nga sabi ko, negosyo 'yan.

"In this case...nangyari talaga yung connection nila ni Dominic.

"I have no way to say that partner sila ni Dominic, di ba? Hindi ko naman ma-prove 'yan.

"What I can prove is may connection sila—which we've already proven in Congress, di ba?

"'Yan ang mahirap nilang lusutan, since nakitaan na 'yan. Yun ang dapat nilang i-explain.

"Siguro kahit hindi kami magsalita matagal na dapat namin marinig dapat si Atty. Joji."

HOW ATTY. JOJI MET DOMINIC DU. Sa paglalahad ni Atty. Joji, taong 2008 nang nagkaroon siya ng pagkakataong makatrabaho si Dominic Du.

Kuwento ng lawyer-producer sa PEP, hinimok siya ni Du at ni Ric Camaligan, ang noo'y Motion Picture Anti Film Piracy Council (MPAFPC) president, na magsilbing abugada ng council.

Ayaw daw sana ni Atty. Joji na makatrabaho si Dominic dahil sa hindi nila magandang engkuwentro noong 2004.

Ngunit kinalaunan ay pumayag din ang lawyer-producer.

"So, I agreed to become the lawyer of the Anti Piracy Council [MPAFPC] of the Philippines.

"Who is up to now the chair of the board of Anti Piracy Council? Father Remy Monteverde.

"So, si Father Remy ang chairman of the board—asawa ni Mother [Lily Monteverde] at ama ni Dondon.

"Presidente si Ric Camaligan, na inaway ko nun, kasama si Dominic Du. Sila, grupo sila."

Ang kanilang grupo—kasama ng ibang theater owners at producers—ang nagtulungan upang maipasa ang anti-camcording law na ngayon ay istriktong ipinapatupad sa mga sinehan.

Tandang-tanda raw iyon ni Atty. Joji dahil naging aktibo siya sa pagbibigay ng lectures sa security ng theater owners kaugnay ng kanilang anti-piracy campaign.

Naimbitahan din si Atty. Joji na magsilbing resource speaker sa isang pagtitipon ng Southeast Asian theater organizations sa Hong Kong noong panahong iyon.

WHO IS DOMINIC DU? Ang tanong ay: sino nga ba si Dominic Du?

Bakit kinukuwestiyon sa Kongreso ang kanyang diumano'y impluwensiya bilang MMFF Execom member?

Sa salaysay ni Du sa PEP, nabanggit nitong estudyante pa lang siya ay nagsimula na siyang maging aktibo sa local film industry.

Noong bandang 2008 ay nagsilbi siya bilang MMFF Execom member, at na-reappoint siya ng mga sumunod na taon.

Taong 2011 naman nang siya ay maitalaga bilang presidente ng MPAFPC, isa sa beneficiaries ng festival.

Noong MMFF 2015, ilan sa mga ginampanang tungkulin ni Dominic sa festival ay ang pagiging Sales and Playdate Monitoring Committee chairman, Selection Committee member, at Rules Committee vice chairman.

Kritikal ang posisyon ni Du bilang Sales and Playdate Monitoring Committee chairman, dahil may kinalaman ito sa lifespan ng isang MMFF entry sa takilya.

Nilinaw ni Du na mayroong proseso sa pagpalit ng MMFF entries na pinapalabas sa mga sinehan sa loob ng 10-day-long festival. [Tingnan ang PEP SPECIAL REPORT: ONE-DAY-LAST-DAY PRACTICE.]

At pinagdidesisyunan ito ng mga bumubuo ng Sales and Playdate Monitoring Committee, theater representatives, at mismong producers ng pelikula.

ATTY. JOJI: NO FINANCIAL BACKING FROM DU. Kaugnay nito, inihayag ni Atty. Joji na noong unang beses pa lang niya sumali sa MMFF ay umalagwa na sana ang kanyang pelikula kung talagang nagsasabwatan sila ni Du.

Lahad ng abugada, "I submitted The Strangers [in 2012].

"I was already the lawyer of the Anti Piracy Council then.

"I was friends with everybody in the council—theater representatives, producers.

"I did not win a single award with The Strangers. It was a big flop. I lost so much money from that film.

"Dominic Du and I were already friends at the time.

"So, why didn't I win anything?

"Why did I lose so much money if somebody was backing me from the inside"?

Maging ang 2013 MMFF entry na Kimmy Dora: Ang Kiyemeng Prequel, na co-produced ng Spring Films, MJM Productions at Quantum Films, ay hindi rin naman umano nanalo ng anumang parangal o kumita nang husto sa takilya.

"I invested money in that film.

"And again, Dominic and I were already friends at the time.

"Did we win an award? No.

"Did we make money? No.

"We lost money in that particular film," giit ulit ni Atty. Joji.

Hindi rin naman daw nagkakalayo ang second best picture award na nakuha ng English Only, Please sa third best picture award ng Kubot noong 2014.

Kung tutuusin, ang pelikulang Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo ang hinirang na best picture ng MMFF noong taong iyon.

Ngunit malinaw umano na hindi naging sapat ang pagkapanalo ng Bonifacio upang pumatok ito nang husto sa takilya.

Depensa ni Atty. Joji, "Bonifacio won first prize.

"They"re saying if you win an award you gain by leaps and bounds.

"But Bonifacio did not [gross] a hundred million, did it? It didn't.

"We all know that, di ba? It didn't.

"At our end, it [English Only, Please] was just a second prize. They [Reality Entertainment's Kubot] won third place.

"So, how far is a second placer from a third placer? Hindi naman siguro malayo yun."

SHOCKING WIN. At noon namang MMFF 2015, hindi raw inasahan ni Atty. Joji na masusungkit ng Quantum Films ang best picture award para sa #WalangForever at second best picture award para sa Buy Now Die Later.

Ayon pa kay Atty. Joji, naging bukas pa siya sa pagsasabi noong MMFF Awards Night, na hindi kumpleto ang kanyang saya dahil hindi nakasama sa nominees ang MMFF entry na Honor Thy Father.

"That was a shock to us na nanalo kami ng first and second [best picture].

"And in fact, nung ina-announce 'yan, sabi ko sa sarili ko, sorry for the language, '[Expletive] patay ako nito. Kasi sasabihin ng lahat may ginawa ako.'

"Yun. Ganun yung pakiramdam ko."

Sa kabilang banda, hindi rin naman tumabo sa takilya ang Buy Now Die Later.

Ayon kay Atty. Joji, isa ulit itong patunay na hindi sukatan ang isang parangal upang tumaas ang box-office appeal ng isang pelikula.

Patuloy na lahad ni Atty. Joji, "First day, ang dami nang nalagas sa sinehan namin sa Buy Now Die Later. Tuloy-tuloy yun, everyday nawawalan kami ng sinehan.

"Kung si Dominic Du prinotektahan ako, as they are claiming, bakit ako nawalan ng sinehan?

"Dapat ang dami ko pa ring sinehan until the end.

"Partner ko kamo siya, e. So, he should protect his interests if we were partners.

"Bakit hindi niya ako prinotektahan? Bakit ako nawalan ng sinehan?

"I lost money with Buy Now Die Later. Hindi ko nga naabot ng gross ng production cost ko."

Ayon pa sa abugada, ni hindi pa umabot ng P20 million ang gross ng Buy Now Die Later.

"Ironic, ha, dalawa pa kasi? Ang tinitingnan lang nila is #WalangForever, e.

"Paano naman yung isa kong pelikula? Kung talagang si Dominic Du kasosyo ko, hindi niya 'yan pababayaan. Kailangan makabawi kami.

"And the only way to do that is for us to be able to keep our cinemas. Bakit nawalan ako ng sinehan?

"And towards the end, wala na ata kaming disi-otsong sinehan."

Base sa impormasyong nakalap ng PEP noong January 4, ang top four box-office films, in chronological order ay: Beauty and The Bestie, My Bebe Love, #WalangForever, at Haunted Mansion.

Hindi nabanggit ang ranking ng apat pang entries kabilang na ang All You Need Is Pag-ibig, Buy Now Die Later, Honor Thy Father, at Nilalang.

  1. TIMELINE
  2. WARRING PARTIES
  3. MMFF 2015 ISSUES IN BRIEF
  4. FULL LIST OF PLAYERS
  5. THE MMFF 2015 CONTROVERSY
    THAT OPENED PANDORA'S BOX
    1. 1ST ISSUE: DATE OF APPLICATION
    2. 2ND ISSUE: REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S NONDISCLOSURE VIOLATION
    3. 3RD ISSUE: PROCEDURAL LAPSE
    4. 4TH ISSUE: DOMINIC AND MARICHU MEET WITH THE JURORS
    5. 5TH ISSUE: SHORT NOTICE OF DISQUALIFICATION
    6. 6TH ISSUE: HONOR THY FATHER PARTICIPATES IN HAWAII FILM FEST
    7. ONE-DAY-LAST-DAY PRACTICE
  6. UNRAVELLING CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN PRODUCERS & MMFF
    1. ALLEGED EVIDENCE AGAINST
      ATTY. JOJI ALONSO & DOMINIC DU
    2. QUESTIONABLE FACEBOOK POSTS
    3. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF?
    4. REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S LINKS
      TO MMFF EXECOM
    5. #WALANGFOREVER PRODUCER:
      "WE DIDN'T CHEAT TO WIN"
    6. CHAIRMAN EMERSON CARLOS ON CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST ISSUE
  7. HOW TO DISQUALIFY A MOVIE:
    JURORS TELL CONFLICTING STORIES
  8. MMFF JURORS DENY BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS
  9. DOMINIC DU DENIES INVOLVEMENT
    IN TICKET-PRICE ANOMALY

REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S LINKS
TO MMFF EXECOM

  •  
  • Investigative Report by Jo-Ann Q. Maglipon & Rachelle Siazon
  •  

Ang isyu sa MMFF 2015 ay conflict of interest.

Ito ang ginawang battle cry ng kampo ng Honor Thy Father, na siyang nagreklamo sa Kongreso laban sa MMFF Executive Committee.

Sa pagsasaliksik ng PEP, kapag ginawang batayan ang conflict of interest, lalabas na marami ang damay: Hindi lamang ang mga inireklamo kundi pati na ang mga nagreklamo.

Ang mga inireklamo—sina Dominic Du ng MMFF Execom at Quantum Films owner Joji Alonso—ay may mga kinakailangang ipaliwanag.

(Tignan ang PEP Special Report on the MMFF, Part 7A: "Unraveling Conflict of Interest Between Producers and MMFF.")

Ngunit ang mga nagreklamo—sina Dondon Monteverde at Erik Matti ng Reality Entertainment; at si Congressman Dan Fernandez, na naghain ng House Resolution 2581 upang imbestigahan ang MMFF 2015—ay may mga kinakailangan ding ipaliwanag.

Ang pinakamalaking punto ay ang pagkakaroon nina Dondon at Erik ng direkta at malinaw na kaugnayan sa pamunuan ng MMFF 2015.

Kasosyo nila sa negosyo si Marcus Ng, miyembro ng 2015 MMFF Execom at ng Selection Committee.

POST MANILA INC. Ang Post Manila Inc. ay isang post-production film outfit, at ang may-ari nito ay sina Dondon Monteverde, Erik Matti, at Marcus Ng.

Sina Dondon at Marcus ay parehong incorporators at stockholders ng Post Manila Inc. nang itinayo ang kumpanya noong Oktubre 29, 2009.

Si Dondon ay may pagmamay-aring 25,000 shares, habang si Marcus ay may pagmamay-aring 15,000 shares.

Noong July 31, 2015, ayon sa SEC updated general information sheet ng Post Manila Inc., si Marcus ay hindi na incorporator ng kumpanya, ngunit itinalaga siyang board member at corporate secretary nito.

Noon ding July 31, 2015, base sa parehong SEC papers, kasama na si Erik Matti sa Post Manila Inc., bilang member at stockholder, na may 26,000 shares.

Base pa rin sa parehong SEC papers, si Dondon ay itinalaga bilang chairman, incorporator, at stockholder, na may 650,000 shares.

REALITY ENTERTAINMENT INC. Samantala, sa Reality Entertainment Inc., na isang film production company, parehong incorporators sina Dondon at Erik, mula November 29, 2002 hanggang sa kasalukuyan.

Dito ay may 750 shares si Dondon, habang si Erik ay may 1,000 shares.

Ang Reality Entertainment ang kumpanyang nagprodyus ng Honor Thy Father.

Sa linaw ng koneksiyon nina Dondon at Erik kay Marcus, katakatakang hindi ito naungkat ni minsan sa imbestigasyon ng Kongreso ng 2015 MMFF.

Lalo na't ang nakasalang sa Komite ng Kongreso ay ang isyu ng conflict of interest, na ginawang battle cry mismo ng kampo nina Dondon at Erik laban kina Execom member Dominic Du at producer Atty. Joji Alonso.

Ang inilabas na pruweba laban kina Du at Alonso ay ang pagiging abugada ni Atty. Joji para sa National Cinema Association of the Philippines, kung saan booking coordinator si Du, at ang pagiging abugada rin ni Atty. Joji sa Motion Picture Anti Film Piracy Council, kung saan presidente si Du.

Samantala, ang pagsosyo sa negosyo nina Dondon, Erik, at Marcus sa iisang kumpanyang may kinalaman sa industriya, ang Post Manila Inc, ay hindi inilantad nina Dondon at Erik sa Komite ng Kongreso.

Hindi rin ito ginawang isyu ni Congressman Dan Fernandez at ang ilan pang kongresistang nag-imbestiga ng sinasabing conflict of interest sa MMFF 2015.

Palaisipan ito dahil, nang unang pumasok ang Reality Entertainment sa MMFF noong 2014, nang isinali nito ang iprinodyus na Kubot: The Aswang Chronicles 2, ay miyembro na si Marcus Ng ng MMFF Execom.

At nang pumasok uli ang Reality Entertainment sa MMFF noong 2015, nang isinali nito ang iprinodyus na Honor Thy Father, miyembro pa rin si Marcus Ng ng MMFF Execom.

Dagdag na backgrounder: Si Marcus Ng ay miyembro ng MMFF Execom mula 2006 hanggang sa kasalukuyan. Si Dominic Du ay miyembro ng MMFF Execom mula 2011 hanggang 2015.

REGAL ENTERTAINMENT'S CONNECTION TO MMFF. Sa patuloy na pananaliksik ng PEP, lumalabas na mas malalim pa ang koneksyon ng pamilya ni Dondon Monteverde sa MMFF Executive Committee.

Ito ay hindi lamang nitong dalawang huling taon, kundi mula pa noong 2004.

Lumalabas na sanga-sangang korporasyon ang parehong pagmamay-ari ng pamilya ni Dondon Monteverde at ng pamilya ni Marcus Ng.

Base sa mga dokumento ng Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), ang ina ni Dondon, na si Lily Yu Monteverde, ay matagal nang kasosyo sa negosyo ng ama ni Marcus, na si Ng Meng Tam.

Sina Lily Monteverde, Ng Meng Tam, at Dondon Monteverde ay incorporators at board directors ng Regal Entertainment Inc., mula July 1996 hanggang sa kasalukuyan.

Si Mother Lily, na siyang tawag kay Lily Monteverde sa industriya, ay nagmamay-ari ng mahigit 42 million shares sa Regal.

Si Ng Meng Tam ay nagmamay-ari ng 100 million shares.

At si Dondon ay nagmamay-ari ng 100 shares.

Noong Abril 6, 2015, ayon sa SEC updated general information sheet ng Regal Entertainment Inc, si Mother Lily ay nagmamay-ari na ng 52 percent, o mahigit 585 million shares.

Si Ng Meng Tam ay nagmamay-ari pa rin ng nine percent, o 100 million shares.

At si Dondon ay nagmamay-ari na ng five percent, o mahigit 61 million shares.

Ang kapatid ni Dondon na si Roselle Monteverde ay mayroon ding five percent, o mahigit 61 million shares.


DONDON: "EITHER YOU USE YOUR CONNECTIONS OR NOT." Base sa nakalap na datos ng PEP, malinaw na may dapat ipaliwanag si Dondon sa isyu ng conflict of interest.

Lalo pa't mainit ring pinag-usapan sa Komite ng Kongreso ang patakaran ng 2015 MMFF: Bawal sa isang prodyuser, na may pelikulang ipapalabas sa festival, ang magkaroon ng koneksiyon sa sinumang miyembro ng MMFF Execom ng taong iyon.

Matatandaang ito mismo ang inireklamo ni Dondon at Erik laban kay MMFF Execom member Dominic Du at lawyer-producer Joji Alonso.

(Tignan ang PEP Special Report Unravelling Conflict of Interest Between Producers and MMFF Part 7B.)

Sa puntong ito, hiningan ng PEP ng pahayag si Dondon tungkol sa pagsososyo nila sa negosyo ni MMFF Execom member Marcus Ng.

Hindi itinanggi ni Dondon ang kaniyang koneksiyon kay Marcus.

Ngunit imbes na ipaliwanag kung bakit hindi ito isyu, baling ni Dondon: "Dalawang bagay lang naman 'yan, e. It's either you use your connections or not.

"Pero, like for us kasi, malinis ang konsensiya namin, kasi na-disqualify kami, e."

Depensa ng Honor Thy Father producer, hindi raw maaaring ihalintulad ang ugnayan niya kay Marcus Ng sa ugnayan ni Atty. Joji kay Dominic Du.

Sa paningin ni Dondon: "Kung gagamitin ko yung connection ko, kakausapin ko talaga yung mga 'yan.

"But we don't do such things.

"Kapag sumali kami sa contest, fair and square 'yan."

Ngunit palaisipan sa PEP ang paninging ito.

Ang pakahulugan kasi nito ay: Ang mga pelikulang nanalo—#Walang Forever (Best Picture) at Buy Now Die Later (Second Best Picture)ay nagsipanalo dahil ginamit ng prodyuser nilang si Atty. Joji Alonso ang kanyang koneksyon sa MMFF Execom, partikular na kay Dominic Du.

Ang kasunod na pakahulugan nito ay: Ang mga nagsipanalo sa MMFF 2015 ay pawang gumamit ng koneksyon sa MMFF Execom.

Ngunit matatandaang nanalo ang Honor Thy Father nina Dondon Monteverde at Erik Matti sa maraming kategorya: Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Child Performer, Best Theme Song, at Best Makeup Artist.

Sa lohika ng pananaw ni Dondon, ibig sabihin nito ay ginamit nina Dondon at Erik ang koneksyon nila sa MMFF Execom, partikular na kay Marcus Ng.

Habang itinatanggi ito ni Dondon, hindi naman niya binibitawan ang paratang na kaya nanalo ang iba ay dahil sa paggamit ng koneksyon.

SUMMING UP. Sa pagtatapos ng panayam ng PEP kay Dondon, hindi pa rin nalinawan kung bakit, sa usapin ng conflict of interest, hindi maaaring kuwestiyunin ang koneksiyon niya kay Marcus, ngunit maaaring idawit si Atty. Joji kay Du.

Matatandaan ring ang patakaran ng MMFF ay bawal ang anumang koneksiyon hanggang sa "fourth level of consanguinity."

Sa bagay na ito, ang documented connection nina Dominic Du at Atty. Joji Alonso ay ang client-lawyer relationship nila sa dalawang institusyon, ang Motion Picture Anti Film Piracy Council at ang National Cinema Association of the Philippines.

Samantala, ang documented connection nina Dondon Monteverde at mag-amang Marcus Ng at Ng Meng Tam ay ang pagiging incorporators nila sa dalawang kumpanya, ang Post Manila Inc. at ang Regal Entertainment Inc.

DONDON CITES AN INCIDENT FROM 2012. Hindi binigyan ni Dondon ng direkta pang paliwanag ang tungkol sa kanyang sariling conflict of interest.

Sa halip ay inungkat niya ang isang insidenteng magbigay-patunay umano na ang conflict of interest ay matagal nang isyu sa MMFF.

Ayon kay Dondon, noong MMFF 2012 ay may kumuwestiyon sa pagpasok ng pelikulang Thy Womb ni Brilliante Mendoza.

Ang Thy Womb ay iprinodyus ni Larry Castillo ng Centerstage Productions, pinagbidahan ni Nora Aunor, at distributed ng Solar Entertainment, isang kumpanyang pinamumunuan ng noo'y MMFF Execom member na si Wilson Tieng.

Inalmahan ng Star Cinema producer na si Malou Santos ang pagpasok ng Thy Womb bilang MMFF entry dahil naipalabas na ito sa international film festivals.

Naging sagot ng MMFF 2012 dito, nakapasok ang Thy Womb dahil, nang taong iyon, walang patakaran ang film festival na nagbabawal sa mga pelikulang naipalabas na sa ibang bansa.

Komento ni Dondon dito: "Matagal na 'yan [conflict of interest issue]. Ganyan kasi nung time pa before ng Star Cinema, na nagrereklamo sila. Yung kay Wilson Tieng na Thy Womb.

"Ganun naman yun, e, yung Thy Womb na 'pinalabas sa mga festival.

"Sina Malou Santos [Star Cinema] nagsalita na, 'I-disqualify niyo 'yan. Ba't kasali sa mga contest 'yan?'

"E, Execom din si Wilson.

"Anyway, it's either you use it or not, ganun naman 'yan," patukoy ni Dondon sa sanga-sangang koneksiyon sa MMFF ng mga tao sa industriya.

PARTISIPASYON NI CONGRESSMAN DAN FERNANDEZ. Isang parte ng MMFF 2015 controversy ang hindi madalas mabanggit: ang Kongreso, o partikular na ang Metro Manila Development committee nito.

Ang Metro Manila Development committee, o MMD, ang Komiteng nagpatawag ng mga miting upang kilatisin ang MMFF 2015.

Malaki ang naging partisipasyon ni Laguna Representative Dan Fernandez sa Komite.

Hindi siya miyembro ng Komite. Miyembro siya ng ng mga komite ng Ways and Means, Public Works and Highways, Labor and Employment, at Public Order and Safety.

Ngunit, bilang kongresista, may karapatan siyang sumali sa mga pulong ng Metro Manila Development, kung naisin niya.

Ganoon nga ang nangyari. Present si Representative Fernandez sa lahat ng tatlong miting na ipinatawag ng chairman ng Komite, si Quezon City Representative Winston Castelo.

Sa unang miting ng Komite (January 11, 2016), makikita sa recorded minutes na aktibong nagsasalita at nag-iinterpelate si Congressman Fernandez.

Sa pitong kongresistang dumalo sa miting, si Representative Fernandez ang nagbato ng mahigit 28 tanong at pitong pahayag.

Si Quezon City Representative at MMD Chairman Winston Castelo ay nagbato ng mahigit 22 tanong at limang pahayag.

Si OFW Family Party List Representative at MMD member Johnny Revilla ay nagbato ng mahigit pitong tanong at apat na pahayag.

Si Buhay Party List Lito Atienza ay nagbato ng mahigit dalawang tanong at apat na pahayag.

Si Representative Neri Colmenares ay nagbato ng anim na tanong at dalawang pahayag.

Si Quezon City Fifth District Representative Alfred Vargas ay nagbato ng isang tanong at isang pahayag.

Si Paranaque Second District Representative Gus Tambunting at Northern Samar Second District Representative Emil Ong ay nagbigay din ng kani-kanilang pahayag hinggil sa MMFF 2015 controversy.

Ganoon rin kaaktibo si Representative Fernandez sa sumunod na dalawa pang miting ng Komite (January 13 at February 18, 2016).

Bukod dito ay kabilang si Representative Fernandez sa Technical Working Group na binuo matapos ng naunang dalawang miting ng Komite at siyang naatasang gumawa ng rekomendasyon para sa MMFF 2016.

(Tignan ang PEP Special Report on the MMFF, Part 5G, "MMFF 2015 Controversy That Opened Pandora's Box")

SHOWBIZ BACKGROUND OF FERNANDEZ. Sino si Representative Dan Fernandez?

Unang nakilala sa publiko si Dan Fernandez bilang aktor noong 1988. Kasama siya sa supporting cast ng ilang action films, mula 1988-1995: Kahit Ako'y Tutang Itim, May Langit Din; Kristobal: Tinik sa Korona; Tondo: Libingan ng mga Siga; Silakbo; at iba pa.

Isang big break ni Dan ang pagganap bilang Kardo Davis sa ABS-CBN soap na Mara Clara, mula 1993-1997.

Taong 1996 nang pagbidahan ni Dan ang pelikulang Balawis, na prinodyus ng Regal Films ng mga Monteverde.

Dito nagsimula ang ugnayan sa pagitan ni Dan at pamilya Monteverde.

Mula 1996 hanggang 2001 ay nakagawa siya ng 10 pelikula sa Regal Films, kasama na ang Bandido, Curacha, Kargado, at Bagansya.

Nabawasan ang pagiging aktibo ni Dan sa showbiz nang sumabak ito sa pulitika.

Nahalal si Dan bilang Laguna vice-governor noong 2001, na nagtapos noong 2004.

Sumunod ay nagsilbi siya bilang Laguna first-district representative mula 2007-2016.

Ngunit hindi nawawala sa sirkulasyon si Dan, at madalas pa ring makita sa entertainment industry gatherings.

DELIKADEZA, PROPRIETY, HIGH GROUND. Maaaring sabihing ginampanan lamang ni Congressman Dan Fernandez ang kanyang tungkulin nang naging aktibo siya sa imbestigasyon ng Kongreso sa MMFF 2015.

Lalo na't may personal na kaalaman siya sa industriya ng pelikulang Pilipino, at bilang kongresista, ay may karapatang sumali sa mga miting ng Komite ng Kongreso na nag-imbestiga.

Ganunpaman, maaaring kuwestiyunin ang representante ng Laguna sa isyu ng conflict of interest.

Appropriate nga ba ang behavior ni Representative Fernandez?

Si Representative Fernandez ay artista sa Honor Thy Father, ang pelikulang tampulan ng kontrobersiya ng MMFF 2015.

Ginampanan niya rito ang papel ng nakatatandang kapatid ni John Lloyd Cruz, ang may lead role. Kasama ang karakter ni Fernandez sa pagpaplano ng gagawing krimen at accomplice siya ni John Lloyd hanggang sa huli.

Sa madaling salita, may personal na interes si Fernandez sa Honor Thy Father.

Tahasang sinabi ito ni Atty. Joji Alonso tungkol kay Fernandez: "Unang-una, I do not know Congressman Dan Fernandez personally. Sa akin lang, being an actor of the film, there's also a conflict of interest there."

Obserbasyon naman ni MMFF 2015 Execom member na si Marichu Maceda, hindi na raw dapat na-involve si Fernandez bilang "delicadeza."

Higit pa riyan, ang pinagtatakhan daw ni Manay Ichu (na siyang tawag kay Maceda sa industriya) ay ang timing ng pagkakapulong ng Komite sa Kongreso.

"The truth is," paliwanag ni Manay Ichu, "I consider it a very irregular meeting because hindi pa nagko-convene ang Congress, e.

"Monday, January 18, pa sila.

"And the regular procedure is, the Rules Committee of Congress has to convene, then they will appoint the appropriate committee to handle one of the resolutions filed by one of their congressmen—in this case, [the resolution] filed by Congressman Dan Fernandez."

Nagsimulang magpulong ang komite ng Metro Manila Development (MMD) ng Kongreso noong January 11, o pitong araw mula nang matapos ang 2015 MMFF.

FERNANDEZ CONFRONTS CARLOS. Sa miting ng MMD committee ng Kongreso noong January 11, inamin ni Congressman Fernandez na kumilos na siya noong December 25 at 26 pa lamang.

Tinawagan niya at pinadalhan ng mensahe si MMDA at MMFF Over-all Chairman Emerson Carlos.

Ito ay bago pa man inisyu ng 2015 MMFF Execom ang desisyong i-disqualify ang Honor Thy Father mula sa Best Picture category, na siyang naging mitsa ng MMFF 2015 controversy.

Pagsisiwalat ni Fernandez sa pulong ng Komite ng January 11: "Remember, Mr. Carlos? On December 25, I texted you about the chances of Honor Thy Father on the awards.

"Dahil meron na po akong nababalitaan na madi-disqualify. And then sabi mo, on your text sa akin, you are not privy to the jurors. Di ba sinabi mo yun?

"And then I called you. That was like 9:08 p.m. of December 25. Sabi ko, 'Chairman, baka naman meron kang mabalitaan tungkol sa awards.'

"But I did not exactly tell you na meron na akong nararamdaman na madi-disqualify ang Honor Thy Father. Ang sabi mo sa akin, 'Yes,' sasabihan mo ako."

Sa paliwanag ni Representative Fernandez, gusto niyang maging "tagapamagitan" ng Honor Thy Father producers at MMFF Execom.

Patuloy na reklamo ni Representative Fernandez kay Chairman Carlos: "On December 26, nung ma-disqualify yung Honor Thy Father, three o'clock in the afternoon...

"I texted Chairman Carlos. I told [asked] Chairman Carlos the justification of the producers, why it was disqualified.

"And on Section 4, Rule one, [it] states clearly [aggrieved party's right to appeal for ten days], yun ang in-explain ko.

"I remember it right, nandito siya sa text, sinasabi ko sa ‘yo that I am willing to help you to file a resolution in order to investigate this [issue].

"But you never replied sa text ko. I told you twice. You never replied. And then finally, you have seen it. Nakita ko seen-zoned."

Sa parte ni Chairman Carlos, nilinaw niya sa isang eksklusibong panayam ng PEP, na sinadya niyang hindi mag-reply kay Congressman Fernandez.

Bilang MMDA at MMFF Over-all Chairman, ayaw daw niyang mabahiran ng "prejudice" ang desisyon niya sa diskwalipikasyon ng Honor Thy Father sa Best Picture category ng MMFF 2015 Awards.

Paliwanag ni Chairman Carlos: "Now, in so far as the text is concerned, that is not a formal appeal.

"What we, the MMFF Execom, were waiting for is an actual, formal, written document that would serve as an appeal to the decision. Ganun naman talaga.

"A phone call or a text message would never be an appeal."


At the MMFF 2015 parade, director Erik Matti (in plain black shirt) was photographed with with Honor Thy Father cast members (L-R) John Lloyd Cruz, Meryll Soriano, Krystal Brimner, and Dan Fernandez.

QUESTIONS FOR THE CONGRESSMAN. Ilang katanungan tungkol sa conflict of interest para kay Congressman Dan Fernandez.

Nang tawagan ni Representative Fernandez si Chairman Carlos, siya ba ay tumawag bilang kongresista o bilang aktor sa Honor Thy Father?

Kung bilang kongresista, ano ang masasabi niyang official reason para kunan niya ng impormasyon ang chairman ng MMFF, gayung nang mga panahong iyon ay may pag-uusap pang nagaganap sa MMFF at wala pang ipinapaalam sa publiko?

Kung bilang aktor, paano nagkaroon ng karapatan ang isang aktor ng pelikula under question na tanungin si Chairman Carlos?

Hindi maitatatwang may personal na interes si Representative Fernandez sa isyung ito, dahil bahagi siya ng pelikulang pinag-ugatan ng sanga-sangang isyu sa MMFF 2015.

Kung gayon, hindi maiwasang kuwestiyunin ang pangunguna niya sa pagtatanong sa mga miting ng Komite na nag-imbestiga rito.

Lalo na't si Representative Fernandez ay aktibong nag-interpellate sa koneksiyon sa pagitan ni 2015 MMFF Execom member Dominic Du at producer Atty. Joji Alonso.

ACCUSATION AGAINST DOMINIC DU. Naging mariin at emosyunal din ang pagtatanong ni Representative Fernandez kay 2015 MMFF Execom member Dominic Du.

Narito ang isang bahagi ng interpelasyon ni Fernandez kay Du noong January 11, 2016 Congress meeting:

"If you are a client of Quantum Films [owned by lawyer-producer Joji Alonso]... Sino ba nanalo ng Best Picture? Di ba, #WalangForever? Sino nanalo sa Second Best Picture? Di ba, [Buy Now Die Later produced by] Quantum Films also.

"I’m not accusing the board of jurors, the board of tabulators on doing something.

"Pero ang sinasabi ko, sinasabi ng rules ninyo there should be no association, there should be no relation [between producers and MMFF Execom].

"Pero one of the members [of MMFF Execom] is associated with the producers of #WalangForever and Buy Now Die Later."

Makailang-beses na ipinunto ni Representative Fernandez ang umano'y koneksiyon sa pagitan ni Dominic Du at Quantum Films producer Atty. Joji Alonso.

Ngunit mapapansin sa recorded minutes of the meeting na hindi naman tinanong ni Representative Fernandez ang detalye ng kung bakit mayroong lawyer-client relationship sina Atty. Joji at Du.

Basta na lamang huminto ang congressman sa pagtatanong at hinayaan ang mga nakikinig na tumalon sa kanilang mga konklusyon.

Sinabi ni Dominic Du, sa eksklusibong panayam ng PEP, na ilang beses siyang nagtaas ng kamay sa miting ng Komite, ngunit hindi siya nabigyan ng sapat na pagkakataong linawin ang kanyang panig.

(Tignan ang PEP Special Report on the MMFF, Part 7A&B: "Unravelling Conflict of Interest Between Producers & MMFF")

  1. TIMELINE
  2. WARRING PARTIES
  3. MMFF 2015 ISSUES IN BRIEF
  4. FULL LIST OF PLAYERS
  5. THE MMFF 2015 CONTROVERSY
    THAT OPENED PANDORA'S BOX
    1. 1ST ISSUE: DATE OF APPLICATION
    2. 2ND ISSUE: REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S NONDISCLOSURE VIOLATION
    3. 3RD ISSUE: PROCEDURAL LAPSE
    4. 4TH ISSUE: DOMINIC AND MARICHU MEET WITH THE JURORS
    5. 5TH ISSUE: SHORT NOTICE OF DISQUALIFICATION
    6. 6TH ISSUE: HONOR THY FATHER PARTICIPATES IN HAWAII FILM FEST
    7. ONE-DAY-LAST-DAY PRACTICE
  6. UNRAVELLING CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN PRODUCERS & MMFF
    1. ALLEGED EVIDENCE AGAINST
      ATTY. JOJI ALONSO & DOMINIC DU
    2. QUESTIONABLE FACEBOOK POSTS
    3. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF?
    4. REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S LINKS
      TO MMFF EXECOM
    5. #WALANGFOREVER PRODUCER:
      "WE DIDN'T CHEAT TO WIN"
    6. CHAIRMAN EMERSON CARLOS ON CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST ISSUE
  7. HOW TO DISQUALIFY A MOVIE:
    JURORS TELL CONFLICTING STORIES
  8. MMFF JURORS DENY BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS
  9. DOMINIC DU DENIES INVOLVEMENT
    IN TICKET-PRICE ANOMALY

#WALANGFOREVER PRODUCER:
"WE DIDN'T CHEAT TO WIN"

  •  
  • Interviews & Research by Jo-Ann Q. Maglipon & Rachelle Siazon / Text by Rachelle Siazon
  •  

Mariing inalmahan ni Atty. Josabeth "Joji" Alonso ang alegasyong may kinalaman siya sa diskwalipikasyon ng Honor Thy Father sa MMFF 2015 Best Picture category.

Ayon sa alegasyon, ang ugnayan ni Atty. Joji at ni 2015 MMFF Execom member Dominic Du ang nasa likod ng diskwalipikasyon.

Kaya umano nadiskwalipika ang Honor Thy Father ng Reality Entertainment ay upang manalo ang #WalangForever ng Quantum Films.

Ang Reality Entertainment ay pagmamay-ari nina Dondon Monteverde at Erik Matti, habang ang Quantum Films ay kay Atty. Joji.

Si Dominic Du ay booking coordinator ng National Cinema Association of the Philippines (NCAP) at presidente ng Motion Picture Anti Film Piracy Council (MPAFPC).

Buwelta ni Atty. Joji, walang basehan ang pag-akusa sa kaniya ng pandaraya dahil lang nanalo ang pelikula niyang #WalangForever bilang 2015 Best Picture.

"I never denied that I am the lawyer of NCAP. I never denied that I am the lawyer of the Anti-Piracy Council [MPAFPC]," bungad nito sa PEP.ph.

"Pero ang question ko nga, if that is the basis, if Dominic will violate and use whatever influence he has in my favor, why didn't he do it way back with Strangers or Kimmy Dora?"

Si Atty. Joji ang prodyuser ng The Strangers (2012) at co-prodyuser ng Kimmy Dora: Ang Kiyemeng Prequel (2013), na sumali sa MMFF ng mga taong nabanggit.

Pagpapatuloy ng abugada, "Why only in English Only, Please [2014] and Walang Forever [2015], if that's what they're saying?

"Di sana noon pa, di ba?

"And isn't it stupid [of Du] to be doing those things for his lawyer? Ano yun?

"If I have a case, I collect from my clients. Hindi naman libre yun.

"So, why will he go out of his way for me?

"And again, I throw back the question, 'Present to me any member of the jury in the two years that we won who can say he was influenced to make us win.'

"And if we paid any of them to make us win.

"Sa akin, 'yan ang end-all.

"Hindi yung, kasi nanalo sila kaya nandaya sila. Kalokohan naman yun."

Balik-sagot pa ni Atty. Joji: "Di lahat na lang pala ng nanalo sa MMFF, [from] time immemorial, puro nandaya?"

MESSY RELATIONS WITHIN A SMALL INDUSTRY. Maraming batuhang naganap sa MMFF 2015 sa pag-ungkat ng isyu ng conflict of interest.

Ano nga ba ang basehan upang sabihing naabuso ang ugnayan sa pagitan ng isang MMFF official at isang participating producer?

May paraan ba upang resolbahan ang conflict of interest sa maliit na industriya ng pelikulang Pilipino?

Kay Atty. Joji, hindi raw niya lubos-maisip kung paano pinalaki nang husto ang koneksyon niya kay Du.

Lalo pa't wala raw basehan upang sabihing sila ay business partners.

Sabi ng lawyer-producer sa isang text message sa PEP: "There is conflict of interest when the objectivity of a person is compromised, and he is unable to discharge trust (non contract) or fiduciary obligations to his principal, free from his own personal interest."

Ang "fiduciary" ay tumutukoy sa sitwasyon kung saan buong tiwalang nakikipagtulungan ang isang tao o kumpanya sa iba.

Patuloy na paliwanag ni Atty. Joji sa sanga-sangang koneksyon ng mga tao sa entertainment industry: "It does not prohibit criss-crossing transactions between actors in one industry.

"Legal engagement, hiraman ng artista, pakiusap, paghingi ng tulong, do not equate to the existence of conflict of interest, especially in this industry where almost everybody knows each other."

DOMINIC DU: UNFAIR NAME-CALLING. Sa parte ng 2015 MMFF Execom member na si Dominic Du, hindi raw makatarungan na nadiin siya nang husto sa Kongreso.

Lalo na nang inilarawan ni Buhay Party List Representative Lito Atienza na "Du Festival" ang diumano'y maanomalyang 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival.

Pahayag ni Du, "Just imagine, dun mo marinig it's a 'Du Festival.' For me, that statement is uncalled for."

Gusto pa raw sana ni Du magpaliwanag sa Komite ng Kongreso, ngunit hindi raw siya nabigyan ng sapat na pagkakataong ilahad ang kanyang panig.

Pag-angal ni Du, "I keep on raising my hands, ayaw din nila.

"When I [spoke up in Congress], hindi ko na matiis yung sinabi nila.

"As a matter of fact—how will I change my story? I was not even given a chance to talk."

Inakusahan si Du, sa pormal na miting ng Metro Manila Development (MMD) committee ng Kongreso, na pabago-bago ang 2015 MMFF Execom member ng statement.

Nanguna sa pag-akusa sina MMD committee chairman Representative Winston Castelo, Buhay Party List Representative Lito Atienza, at direktor Erik Matti, na naroon bilang complainant.

Komento naman ni Marichu Vera-Perez Maceda sa naganap na pagpupulong sa Kongreso:

"Sumabay na daw ang mga congressman para mag-grandstand."

Hindi inaasahan ni Du na siya ay pupuntiryahin nang husto sa ginawang imbestigasyon ng MMD sa Kongreso.

"Ewan ko rin kung bakit, e. I don't know why, but this is coming out that way," pahayag ni Du sa PEP tungkol sa mga unang araw ng miting ng MMD.

(L-R): John Lloyd Cruz, OFW Family Representative Johnny Revilla, and Dondon Monteverde at the January 13 Congress meeting

MOTHER LILY'S UNEXPECTED HOUSE VISIT. Tinanong ng PEP kung mayroon siyang ginawang maaaring ikinagalit ni Dondon, na isa sa mga nagreklamo sa Kongreso, o ng pamilya Monteverde.

Paniwala ni Dondon na ginamit ni Du ang impluwensiya nito bilang MMFF Execom member para sa pansariling kapakanan.

Ngunit para kay Du, wala raw siyang maisip na dahilan kung bakit galit sa kanya si Dondon.

Sa katunayan raw, kung minsan ay tumatawag pa sa kanya sa telepono ang ina ni Dondon, na si Lily Yu Monteverde (Mother Lily sa industriya), bilang kaibigan sa industriya.

Lahad ni Du, "I don't know. As a matter of fact, I seldom talk to Dondon.

"Kung si Mother Lily naman, very often during regular days, she will call up, makipagkuwentuhan.

"There are times tatawag siya, magpapatulong, which I will do whatever I can to assist."

Sa panayam ng PEP, naging bukas din si Marichu Maceda sa pagsabing pinuntahan pa ni Mother Lily si Du sa bahay nito nang nagkakagulo na sa 2015 MMFF.

Tila nag-alangan maglahad ni Du tungkol sa insidente, ngunit naudyok din ito ni Marichu.

Kuwento ni Du, "Naabutan ko lang [sa bahay]. Pagdating ko, paalis na siya, but she kept on saying na, 'Sorry, sorry,' ganun.

"Hinatid ko sa sasakyan niya, so I don't know. I asked my wife, 'Ano ba, ano ba ang sinasabi niya?' [Sabi ng wife ko] 'She was crying, telling her stories, ganun-ganun.'"

Nang tanungin ulit ng PEP kung ano ang ihinihingi ng sorry ni Mother Lily, hindi rin daw alam ni Du.

Nang tanungin ng PEP kung kailan siya pinuntahan sa bahay ni Mother Lily, sinabi ni Dominic na December 26 noon.

Iyon din ang araw kung kailan inanunsiyo ng MMFF Execom ang disqualification ng Honor Thy Father mula sa best-picture award.

Ngunit ayon kay Du, hindi naman daw nila napag-usapan ang isyung iyon.

"No, no, no. I did not discuss that. Wala naman [siya] sinasabi na dun sa disqualification."

Ayaw daw ni Du na bigyan pa ng ibang kulay ang pagbisita sa kanya ni Mother Lily.

Sabi niya, "Hindi ko alam, I did not [put] any [meaning] to that visit.

"But yung tinatanong mo na did I antagonize anybody or what? Hindi ko nga alam, e, I don't know.

"Katulad lang ng naririnig ko na sa inyo, baka may nagagalit sa akin because of the nature of my work... I don't know."

MANAY ICHU CONFRONTS MOTHER LILY. Samantala, diretsahang sinabi ni Marichu Maceda (Manay Ichu sa industriya) sa PEP.ph na diumano'y may galit sa kanya si Mother Lily.

Ayon kay Manay Ichu, mayroon siyang dinaluhang dinner party, at doon ay nagkaroon sila ng engkuwentro ni Mother Lily.

Bagamat magkahiwalay sila ng umpukan, narinig umano ni Marichu ang Regal Films matriarch na nagpatutsada sa kanya at kapwa MMFF Execom members na sina Dominic Du, Jesse Ejercito, at dating MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino.

Bagamat nanatili raw siyang malumanay, kinumpronta raw ni Manay Ichu si Mother Lily noong mismong gabing iyon.

Lahad ni Manay Ichu: "Naririnig ko may sinasabihan siya, nagpaparinig na nagagalit sa aming apat—kaming tatlo [nina Jesse at Dominic] at saka si Chairman Tolentino.

"Then, after about one hour, tumabi ako sa kanya. Sabi ko, 'Narinig ko yung usapan. Alam mo, Mother, sanay ako nang tinitira ako, pero sanay ako nang harapan. Hindi ako sanay na tinitira ako sa likod.'

"Without mentioning anything, iniba niya yung usapan."

Nangyari raw ang insidente noong kasagsagan ng pagdiskwalipika sa Honor Thy Father.

ATTY. JOJI, A THREAT TO OTHER FILMMAKERS? Sa kaso ni Atty. Joji, may sapantaha si Du kung bakit nadiin ang lawyer-producer sa 2015 MMFF controversy.

Saad ni Du nang walang banggit ng partikular na mga personalidad, "They feel threatened [by Atty. Joji]."

Maging mga katrabaho at kaibigan ni Atty. Joji sa industriya ng pelikula ay pareho ng obserbasyon.

Saad ni Atty. Joji: "This did not come from me. This came from indie filmmakers.

"They said it's because of two things. I am considered a threat, and I am destroying the balance."

Hindi man direktang nabanggit ni Atty. Joji, hindi kaila sa entertainment industry na unti-unting nakikilala ang Quantum Films sa paggawa ng dekalidad na mga pelikulang kumikita sa takilya.

Si Atty. Joji ay independent movie producer, na kilala sa pagkakaroon ng hindi kalakihang production budget.

Kumpara sa Regal Films o Star Cinema, mas maliit di hamak na film outfit ang Quantum Films.

NOT A PUBLICITY STUNT. Samantala, aminado si Erik Matti na may espekulasyong may pansariling motibo ang Reality Entertainment nang ireklamo nito sa Kongreso ang 2015 MMFF Execom.

Ngunit mariing pinabulaanan ito ng Honor Thy Father director.

Sabi ni Direk Erik: "Everybody has an opinion, everybody has an analysis, di ba? Sa Facebook ang daming [usap-usapan].

"And they're thinking, 'Wala, papalit lang 'yan. Sila rin, gagawin rin nila 'yan in their favor kaya nirereklamo yung MMFF.'

"Pero paano namin gagawin in our favor? For what? [Kung ganun] dapat nag-assign na kami ng [tao namin sa MMFF] Execom!"

Sabi naman ni Dondon, ang tanging layunin nila ay maging maayos ang sistema ng pamunuan ng MMFF para sa ikabubuti ng pelikulang Pilipino.

Saad niya, "Hindi, maganda na rin nangyari 'to, e. Kasi, honestly, it keeps everyone on their feet right now.

"Wala na sanang manipulation na ganyan. Kasi ang akin naman... Execom siya [Dominic Du], di ba?

"Kilala ko naman si Joji, nakakausap ko 'yan.

"Pero, explain mo sana—Bakit nandun yung pelikula mo sa Axinite na Facebook, at bakit yung pelikula mo mismo nandun sa Facebook page ni Dominic?"

Ang Axinite Digicinema Inc. ay isang booking company na pag-aari ni 2015 MMFF Execom member Dominic Du. Sa imbestigasyon ng Kongreso, lumabas na prinomote sa Facebook page ng Axinite ang MMFF entries na #WalangForever at Buy Now Die Later.

Itinanggi rin ni Dondon na inalalayan siya ng kanyang inang si Mother Lily nang masangkot sa kontrobersiya ang Reality Entertainment.

Ani Dondon, "Hindi naman, iniiwan lang ako ni Mother sa mga ano ko, desisyon ko."

Mother Lily, flanked by co-producers John Lloyd Cruz and Dondon Monteverde, at Honor Thy Father December presscon

  1. TIMELINE
  2. WARRING PARTIES
  3. MMFF 2015 ISSUES IN BRIEF
  4. FULL LIST OF PLAYERS
  5. THE MMFF 2015 CONTROVERSY
    THAT OPENED PANDORA'S BOX
    1. 1ST ISSUE: DATE OF APPLICATION
    2. 2ND ISSUE: REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S NONDISCLOSURE VIOLATION
    3. 3RD ISSUE: PROCEDURAL LAPSE
    4. 4TH ISSUE: DOMINIC AND MARICHU MEET WITH THE JURORS
    5. 5TH ISSUE: SHORT NOTICE OF DISQUALIFICATION
    6. 6TH ISSUE: HONOR THY FATHER PARTICIPATES IN HAWAII FILM FEST
    7. ONE-DAY-LAST-DAY PRACTICE
  6. UNRAVELLING CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN PRODUCERS & MMFF
    1. ALLEGED EVIDENCE AGAINST
      ATTY. JOJI ALONSO & DOMINIC DU
    2. QUESTIONABLE FACEBOOK POSTS
    3. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF?
    4. REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S LINKS
      TO MMFF EXECOM
    5. #WALANGFOREVER PRODUCER:
      "WE DIDN'T CHEAT TO WIN"
    6. CHAIRMAN EMERSON CARLOS ON CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST ISSUE
  7. HOW TO DISQUALIFY A MOVIE:
    JURORS TELL CONFLICTING STORIES
  8. MMFF JURORS DENY BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS
  9. DOMINIC DU DENIES INVOLVEMENT
    IN TICKET-PRICE ANOMALY

CHAIRMAN EMERSON CARLOS ON CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST ISSUE

  •  
  • Investigative Report by Jo-Ann Q. Maglipon & Rachelle Siazon
  •  

Noong kasagsagan ng 2015 MMFF scandal, hiningi ng PEP ang pananaw ni Emerson Carlos hinggil sa isyu ng conflict of interest sa Metro Manila Film Festival.

Si Ginoong Carlos ang chairman ng Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) mula noong Oktubre 30, 2015, at dala ng posisyong iyon, ay naging over-all chairman din ng 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).

Pahayag ni Chairman Carlos: "Sabi nga namin nun, the showbiz industry, it would really be difficult to find a person who is not related in one way or another to someone.

"Mahirap talaga. Yung Congressional meeting pointed to that.

"It was trying to point to the fact na may conflict of interest sa mga executive committee members."

Mismong si Chairman Carlos ay sinubukan alamin ang puno't dulo ng isyu.

Lahad niya: "We even tried to look into it sa Executive Committee.

"The day after the Congress meeting [January 11, 2016], nagtayo ako ng Ad Hoc Committee to look into these allegations.

"Because, one, newcomer ako dito, so I do not really know the personalities involved.

"I really do not know kung ano sila."

Sa loob ng maiksing panahong pinamunuan niya ang MMFF, aminado si Chairman Carlos na hindi madaling lutasin ang kumplikasyong dulot ng sanga-sangang koneksiyon ng major players sa film industry.

Dugtong nito:"Actually, it's an eye-opener din sa akin yung congressional meeting, because I learned a lot during this period of controversy.

"I learned a lot—na ganito pala yun, how it works, talagang may theater owners pala talaga dapat diyan [sa MMFF Execom].

"In so far as conflict of interest is concerned, there might be some conflict of interest—but who does not have?"

Nabanggit din ni Chairman Carlos ang posibilidad na mas makakabuti kung ang mapipiling bagong Execom members ay hindi na aktibo sa show business, upang maiwasan ang kontrobersiyang naganap noong nagdaang festival.

Tanong ng PEP, hindi kaya maging problema rin kung hindi aktibo sa showbiz ang mamumuno ng MMFF?

Balik-tanong ni Chairman Carlos: "Because paano naman sila makakapag-keep up with the times?

"Parang ang luma-luma, parang ang tanda ng dating ng movies? Tama din yun.

"Pero, kaya nga, how do we strive for the balance to make things work and at the same time make things relevant?

"Ang hirap na trabaho."

MMDA & MMFF Over-all Chairman Emerson Carlos

OLD AND NEW FACES IN 2016 MMFF EXECOM. Batay sa probisyon ng Presidential Proclamation No. 1647, petsang June 6, 1977, ang pinuno ng Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) ay awtomatikong naitatalaga bilang over-all chairman ng MMFF.

At bilang MMDA chairman at MMFF over-all chairman, si Atty. Emerson Carlos ang may kapangyarihang mamili ng mga bagong miyembro ng 2016 MMFF Execom.

Maliban rito ang mga pinuno ng ilang ahensiya na awtomatikong nabibigyan ng posisyon sa MMFF Execom, batay pa rin sa probisyon ng Presidential Proclamation No. 1647.

Kabilang dito ang chairman ng Movie and Television Review Classification Board (original name: Board of Censors for Motion Pictures); director ng National Media Production Center (NMPC); director ng Bureau of Broadcasts; at commanding officer ng Philippine National Police (PNP)-National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).

Kasama rin sa may awtomatikong puwesto sa MMFF Execom ang representative ng Film Academy of Movie and Sciences (FAMAS).

Ngunit ayon kay Chairman Carlos, hindi muna kumukuha ng MMFF Execom member mula sa FAMAS ngayon dahil sa nahati sa dalawang grupo ang oldest award-giving body sa showbiz.

Ang ibang napili na maging 2016 MMFF Execom members ay base sa isinumiteng rekomendasyon ng Technical Working Group (TWG), na binuo sa Congress meeting noong January 13.

Paliwanag ni Chairman Carlos, "The TWG was created for the purpose of helping the MMFF Execom come up with standards kung paano ang selection ng Execom and to introduce some revisions and amendments sa guidelines na ginagawa natin."

Kabilang sa TWG si Laguna Representative Dan Fernandez, na kinuwestiyon ng ilang MMFF members ang pagsali sa imbestigasyon sa Kongreso dahil sa koneksyon nito sa Reality Entertainment.

(Tingnan: PEP Special Report on the MMFF Part 7D, "Unraveling conflict of interest between producers and MMFF")

QC Second District Representative Winston Castelo, John Lloyd Cruz, and Laguna Representative Dan Fernandez's arrival at the January 13 Congress meeting.

DU IS OUT, NG IS STILL IN. Hindi na itinalaga sina Dominic Du at Marichu Vera-Perez Maceda bilang 2016 MMFF Executive Committee members.

Ayon kay Chairman Carlos, dala raw ito ng kontrobersiyang kinasangkutan nina Du at Maceda noong nagdaang festival.

Sa kabilang banda, nanatili si Marcus Ng bilang 2016 MMFF Execom member.

Sa imbestigasyon ng PEP, lumabas na si Marcus Ng ay kasosyo sa negosyo ng Reality Entertainment producers na sina Dondon Monteverde at Erik Matti, na siyang nagreklamo sa Kongreso tungkol sa conflict of interest.

Naitalaga rin bilang MMFF Execom member si Edgar Tejerero, presidente ng SM Lifestyle Entertainment Inc.

Si Tejerero ang tinukoy na source ni Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) director Leo Martinez sa hiwalay na reklamo ng huli laban kay 2015 MMFF Execom member Dominic Du.

(Tingnan: PEP Special Report on MMFF Part 10: "Dominic Du denies ticket-price anomaly")

Bahagi rin ng bagong pamunuan ng MMFF si Quezon City Fifth District Representative Alfred Vargas, na isa sa mga kongresistang kumampi kina Dondon at Erik sa congressional meeting at kasama rin sa Technical Working Group, ang grupong naatasang tumulong sa MMDA sa pagpili ng 2016 MMFF Execom members.

Sa hiwalay na panayam ng PEP, nangako si Representative Vargas na pangungunahan niya ang malawakang reporma sa MMFF.

Ito ay sa pamamagitan umano ng paglikha ng "MMFF Reform Law," na naglalayong mapalitan ang Metro Manila Film Festival ng tinawag niyang Filipino Film Festival o FFF.

Nakapaloob umano sa gagawing bill ang paglikha ng magkahiwalay na festival, isa para sa commercial films tuwing Kapaskuhan at isa para sa indie films tuwing Hulyo o Agosto.

Paliwanag ni Representative Vargas, "So, yung existing natin, we have 14 days exclusive for Filipino films in a year.

"Dito sa bago, another 14 days yun—so we have 28 days exclusive for Filipino films."

WANTED: FAIR RULES AT MMFF. Nasabi na ni Chairman Carlos na mahirap na trabaho ang pamunuan ang MMFF.

Lalo pa't tali-taliwas ang pahayag ng mga sangkot sa isyung conflict of interest at disqualification ng Honor Thy Father.

Natutunan daw niya ang kahalagahan na magkaroon ng MMFF rules and regulations na hindi nagbabago kada taon.

Paliwanag ni Chairman Carlos sa PEP: "In order for a rule to be fair and effective, it should be predictable.

"Alam mong hindi pabagu-bago just to cater to something.

"It should be consistent and should apply to all kahit sinong parties ang involved.

"Because, lumabas dito naglalabanan mga players mismo sa movie industry.

"And that's detrimental. Ang liit lang ng film industry.

"Nag-aaway-away lahat because of issues that could have been avoided. Had there been proper planning, had there been laid a basis, wala sanang ganyan."

LET THE MOVIEGOING PUBLIC DECIDE. Ngunit sapat ba ang pagbuo ng isa na namang batas para sa pagsasagawa ng festival ng pelikulang Pilipino?

Paano makakasigurong mapoprotektahan ang interes ng mga lalahok? Paano sila mabibigyan ng pantay-pantay na pagkakataon?

Mas makakabuti bang makialam ang gobyerno sa pangangasiwa ng isang film festival?

O dapat bang hayaang mag-self-regulate ang mga filmmakers?

Paano mareresolba ang mga isyung nabulgar sa nagdaang 2015 MMFF?

Nabuwag nga ba ang diumano'y maanomalyang pamunuan ng 2015 MMFF?

Ano ang magiging relasyon ng mga miyembrong galing sa 2015 Execom at sa mga bagong nakaupo sa 2016 Execom?

Paano maitataguyod ang pelikulang Pilipino kung mismong ang bumubuo sa industriya nito ay hindi nagkakasundo?

Sabi nga ni Chairman Carlos: "Ang hirap na trabaho."

  1. TIMELINE
  2. WARRING PARTIES
  3. MMFF 2015 ISSUES IN BRIEF
  4. FULL LIST OF PLAYERS
  5. THE MMFF 2015 CONTROVERSY
    THAT OPENED PANDORA'S BOX
    1. 1ST ISSUE: DATE OF APPLICATION
    2. 2ND ISSUE: REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S NONDISCLOSURE VIOLATION
    3. 3RD ISSUE: PROCEDURAL LAPSE
    4. 4TH ISSUE: DOMINIC AND MARICHU MEET WITH THE JURORS
    5. 5TH ISSUE: SHORT NOTICE OF DISQUALIFICATION
    6. 6TH ISSUE: HONOR THY FATHER PARTICIPATES IN HAWAII FILM FEST
    7. ONE-DAY-LAST-DAY PRACTICE
  6. UNRAVELLING CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN PRODUCERS & MMFF
    1. ALLEGED EVIDENCE AGAINST
      ATTY. JOJI ALONSO & DOMINIC DU
    2. QUESTIONABLE FACEBOOK POSTS
    3. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF?
    4. REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S LINKS
      TO MMFF EXECOM
    5. #WALANGFOREVER PRODUCER:
      "WE DIDN'T CHEAT TO WIN"
    6. CHAIRMAN EMERSON CARLOS ON CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST ISSUE
  7. HOW TO DISQUALIFY A MOVIE:
    JURORS TELL CONFLICTING STORIES
  8. MMFF JURORS DENY BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS
  9. DOMINIC DU DENIES INVOLVEMENT
    IN TICKET-PRICE ANOMALY

HOW TO DISQUALIFY A MOVIE:
JURORS TELL CONFLICTING STORIES

  •  
  • Interviews & Research by Jo-Ann Q. Maglipon & Rachelle Siazon / Text by Rachelle Siazon
  •  

Isa pang aspeto ng 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival na pinagmulan ng kontrobersiya ay ang ugnayan ng MMFF jurors sa MMFF Execom.

Dawit sa isyu ang MMFF Executive Committee (Execom) members na sina Dominic Du at Marichu Vera-Perez Maceda.

Dahil ito sa presence ng dalawa sa gabi ng deliberasyon ng mga hurado noong December 21, 2015—o anim na araw bago ang nakatakdang MMFF 2015 Awards Night.

Diniktahan diumano nina Du at Maceda ang mga hurado na tanggalin ang Honor Thy Father sa best-picture category noong gabi ng deliberasyon.

WHO ARE THE JURORS? Para sa MMFF 2015, 12 hurado ang naitalagang manood at magbigay ng grado sa 8 film entries.

Si MMDA at MMFF Over-all Chairman Emerson Carlos, na naupo sa puwesto mula October 30, 2015, ang siyang namili ng mga hurado.

Alinsunod ito sa Presidential Proclamation No. 1647 at Metropolitan Manila Commission Executive Order No. 86-09, na nagbibigay sa kanya ng karapatang mamili ng mga miyembro ng MMFF Execom at pati na rin ng mga hurado.

Ang chairman of the board of jurors ay si Rowena Capulong-Reyes (Far Eastern University professor), habang ang vice-chairman ay si Felipe De Leon Jr. (National Commission for Culture and the Arts chairman).

Kabilang din sa board of jurors sina Jullie Yap-Daza (Etiquette for Mistresses author, journalist, at former TV host); Lucenio "Noy" Lauzon (U.P. Film Institute); at Atty. Alu Dorotan (MMFF New Wave/MMDA spokesperson).

Kasama sa mga napiling hurado sina Arnold Vegafria (ALV Talent Circuit president), Carmen Musngi (Movie and Television Review and Classification Board director), at Maan Lopez (Theaters Association).

Mga napiling hurado rin sina Joey Papa (writer), Alexandria Ortigas (advertising practitioner), Atty. Paul Resurreccion (photographer), at Lawrence Javier (blogger).

Ayon kay Chairman Carlos, ang pagpili ng mga hurado para sa MMFF 2015 Awards ang ilan sa mga tungkuling naiwan ni dating MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino.

October 7, 2015 nang mag-resign sa puwesto si Tolentino, at October 30 nang opisyal na naitalaga si Atty. Carlos bilang bagong MMDA at MMFF Over-all Chairman.

Sa panayam ng PEP, ibinahagi ni Chairman Carlos na si MMFF Secretariat Executive Director Atty. Noemi Ilagan ang nag-brief sa kanya ng mga tungkuling dapat niyang gampanan sa film festival.

Lahad ni Chairman Carlos: "I asked for the list of the former board of jurors.

"Sabi ko kay Atty. Noemi, 'Would it be all right if I revise the list and add inputs?'

"Sabi niya, 'All right, it's your discretion.'

"Sabi ko, 'I would want some knowledgeable people rin inside.'"

CHAIRMAN CARLOS'S PICKS. Ayon kay Chairman Carlos, ang 2015 MMFF jurors ay kombinasyon ng mga bagong mukha at dati nang mga hurado.

Aniya, "I looked at the list. I put in some people whom I know are at least knowledgeable in the movie industry or may background dun.

"I put in some people from my personal acquaintances, and then I retained some jurors [from the old list], so that may guidance din.

"Mahirap kapag bago lahat—hindi alam ang mangyayari, hindi alam ang gagawin."

Tinanong ng PEP si Chairman Carlos kung sinu-sino sa mga hurado ang inirekomenda niya.

Sagot niya, "I put in Paul Resurreccion. He's an international award-winning photographer.

"Alex Ortigas, she's into media advertising, and she's the niece of Fernando Ortigas, the producer of Heneral Luna.

"I suggested some other people, pero they declined.

"There was John Arcilla. Unfortunately, he didn't make it to the judging period, kaya drinop na din siya, eventually."

CONTRADICTING TESTIMONIES. Sina Professor Rowena Capulong-Reyes at Carmen Musngi ay kabilang sa listahan ng mga dati nang hurado na muling itinalaga ni Chairman Carlos para sa MMFF 2015.

Pareho silang nagbigay ng testimoniya sa komite ng Metro Manila Development ng Kongreso, tungkol sa naganap na deliberasyon ng mga hurado noong gabi ng December 21.

Naging sentro ng diskusyon sa Kongreso ang testimoniya ni Musngi sa miting ng Komite noong January 11.

Ayon kay Musngi, diniktahan diumano silang mga hurado nina Dominic Du at Marichu Maceda ng MMFF Execom, na tanggaling ang Honor Thy Father sa Best Picture category.

Ang testimonya ni Musngi ay sinegundahan din ng mga huradong sina Resurreccion at Javier.

(Tingnan: PEP Special Report on the MMFF, Part 5D, "The MMFF 2015 Controvesy That Opened Pandora's Box")

ROWENA REYES: "EIGHTY PERCENT VOTED." Taliwas sa testimonya ni Musngi ang pahayag ni Professor Rowena Capulong-Reyes, chief of jurors, sa Kongreso.

Dumalo si Professor Reyes sa miting ng Komite noong January 13, kung saan patuloy na tinalakay ang sanga-sangang reklamo laban sa pamunuan ng MMFF 2015.

Dito ay mariing pinabulaanan ni Professor Reyes na diniktahan silang mga hurado nina Maceda at Du.

Base sa recorded minutes ng January 13 Congress meeting, sinabi ni Professor Reyes: "And so, Dominic Du explained [Honor Thy Father's violation].

"He [explained] further that should we not want to be part of the decision, the issue will then be elevated to the Execom.

"A juror then said, 'As jury, we should be part of the decision and vote to disqualify Honor Thy Father in the best-picture category.'"

Ayon pa sa FEU professor, nagbotohan ang mga hurado kaugnay ng non-disclosure violation ng Honor Thy Father, at "80 percent" sa kanila ay bumoto na huwag na itong isama sa best-picture category.

Si Professor Reyes ay tatlong beses nang naimbitihan na maging hurado ng MMFF.

Professor Rowena Capulong-Reyes at the January 13 Congress meeting

CARMEN MUSNGI: "NO FORMAL VOTING." Kinontra ni Musngi ang pahayag ni Professor Reyes.

Sa panayam ng PEP, sinabi ni Musngi na hindi malinaw sa kanya kung ano ang sinasabi ni Professor Reyes na pinagbotohan nilang mga hurado.

Ayon kay Musngi: "Hindi ko nga maalala, sa totoo lang.

"Alam ko nga may nagbotohan. Pero kasi when I was talking in Congress, in-ano ko lang yung pinaka-bottom line na nangyari.

"Kumbaga, yun ang sinabi sa amin."

Tinanong pa raw ni Musngi si Atty. Paul Resurreccion kung may naaalala itong pinagbotohan nilang mga hurado na tanggalin ang Honor Thy Father sa Best Picture category.

Ngunit ang tanging naaalala raw nila ay ang diskusyon kung susulatan ba nila ng "disqualified" o iiwan lang na blangko ang score sheet para sa Honor Thy Father best-picture category.

Sabi ni Musngi: "Naalala nga nito, kasi tinanong ko si Atty. Resurreccion, 'Ano ba 'tong nag-vote vote tayo?'

"Naalala ko, parang may mga ganyan-ganyan.

"Pero, hindi yung parang, 'Do we disqualify Honor Thy Father?'

"Kasi, if you think about it, napakalaking desisyon nun.

"Nakita mo naman yung scenario, parang nagkakagulo.

"'Ano daw?' 'Best picture ba?' 'Hindi lahat?' 'Ewan ko.'

"Kasi lahat kami, ready na to start [mag-score]."

Carmen Musngi at the January 13 Congress meeting

Base pa rin sa salaysay ni Musngi sa PEP, lumalabas na walang pormal na botohan ang mga hurado na i-disqualify ang Honor Thy Father.

Ni wala raw minutes of the December 21 meeting ang MMFF Secretariat, na pinamumunuan ni Executive Director Atty. Noemi Ilagan.

Pagsisiwalat ni Musngi, "Dapat dun, may nakalagay sa secretariat, apat ang nag-abstain, anim ang nag-agree.

"E, nasaan? Ewan ko kung maglalagay sila. Wala naman silang ganun."

Kinuwestiyon din ni Musngi ang salaysay sa Kongreso ni Professor Reyes, na siyang chairman ng 2015 MMFF jurors.

Lahad ni Musngi: "Ang sinabi lang niya [Professor Reyes], 'Almost 80 percent [voted to disqualify Honor Thy Father]. And I have a frozen shoulder so I can't even [raise my hand to show my vote].'

"You don't do that, during something so important, na wala pa siyang specific [vote].

"Ako, I don't remember agreeing to agree na vote of hands.

"Kasi parang ako nga naguluhan."

Mahigit tatlong beses na umanong naimbitahan si Musngi na maging hurado ng MMFF, at sa mga pagkakataong iyon, tanging ang panonood lamang ng festival entries ang naging responsibilidad niya.

Kung mayroon mang disqualification issue ay labas na raw ito sa obligasyon ng isang hurado.

Sabi ni Musngi, "May sinabi pa si Jullie Yap-Daza, parang, yun nga, 'Naku, that's gonna be a big thing. Baka they might put the blame on the jurors. Somebody has to tell them. The people of [Reality Entertainment] should know that there is a case.'

"Ang sabi sa amin, 'We'll just write to them. Kami na'ng bahala. We will write to them. They will know.'"

Sinubukan ng PEP na hingan ng pahayag si Atty. Resurreccion, ngunit hindi ito sumagot sa aming mga tawag at text messages.

Maging si Professor Reyes ay makailang-beses ding tinawagan at pinadalhan ng mensahe ng PEP.

Ngunit isang beses lamang ito nag-reply upang sabihin na hindi nito masagot ang tawag sa telepono dahil abala siya sa trabaho.

ARNOLD VEGAFRIA'S VERSION. Nakausap ng PEP ang isa pang hurado, si Arnold Vegafria, na isang public relations practitioner at isa ring talent manager.

Hiningan namin siya ng salaysay tungkol sa deliberasyon ng MMFF jurors noong gabi ng December 21.

Ayon kay Arnold, si Dominic Du ang nagpaliwanag sa MMFF jurors tungkol sa nondisclosure violation ng Reality Entertainment, ang prodyuser ng Honor Thy Father.

Sabi raw ni Du: "We cannot include Honor Thy Father in the best-picture category because [it was already shown] in a festival.

"We must follow. There was a violation of the rules because the film was exhibited in Cinema One, the same year of the festival."

Nagtanong umano si Arnold upang klaruhin kung bakit kailangang tanggalin ang Honor Thy Father sa naturang kategorya.

Lahad ni Arnold, "Sinabi ulit there was a violation.

"Noong una nga, ang sabi, 'pinalabas na sa Hawaii at Canada, pero mukhang walang money involved. No ticket selling.

"And then later sa Cinema One [Originals]."

Tinanong pa raw ulit ni Arnold, "Why include Honor Thy Father at all?"

Sagot umano ni Dominic, "Producers kasi, gumastos na. Pero may violation.

"Wala namang kasalanan yung iba. Sa producers lang yun.

"Pero yung ibang nagtrabaho na mga actors, wala namang kasalanan kaya isinama."

Tulad ng testimonya ni Carmen Musngi, sinabi ni Arnold na pinaalalahanan niya sina Du at Maceda na siguraduhing ipagbigay-alam agad sa Reality Entertainment ang tungkol sa kanilang violation.

"Sinabi ko sa kanila, 'Make sure you inform the producers and the media, dito sa Honor Thy Father, yung pagkaka-disqualify niya. Baka kami putukan niyan, baka kami tirahin diyan.'"

Sa pagkakaintindi ni Arnold, ang desisyong tanggalin ang Honor Thy Father sa best-picture category ay galing sa MMFF Execom.

Base rito, malinaw na hindi alam ng mga hurado na limang araw pa ang lumipas at saka nag-convene ang MMFF Execom members upang pinal na hatulan ang Honor Thy Father ng diskwalipikasyon sa best-picture category.

Mismong si Chairman Carlos ang nagsabi na ang final decision hinggil sa anumang gusot na may kinalaman sa festival ay manggagaling sa Execom.

ALV Talent Circuit president Arnold Vegafria

CONFLICT OF INTEREST. Kaya isa sa mainit na pinag-usapan sa Kongreso ang pag-anunsiyo nina Maceda at Du sa mga hurado ng violation ng Reality Entertainment, gayong wala pang pinal na desisyon ang Execom.

(Tingnan: PEP Special Report on the MMFF, Part 5A to 5F, "The MMFF 2015 Controvesy That Opened Pandora's Box")

Dagdag pa rito ang pagkuwestiyon sa diumano'y ugnayan nina 2015 MMFF Execom member Dominic Du at lawyer-producer Josabeth "Joji" Alonso.

Sa interpolasyon ni Laguna First District Representative Dan Fernandez, base sa recorded minutes ng January 13, 2016 Congress meeting, sinabi nito:

"That's the reason Dominic Du, na member ng executive committee, is connected to Joji Alonso, the producer of #WalangForever and Buy Now Die Later.

"He was there in the board of jurors [deliberation]…

"What I'm trying to tell you, Chairman, na-disqualify na ang Honor Thy Father noong December 21.

"So, there is something fishy here.

"Dominic Du—a member of a powerful Executive Committee—attending the deliberation of the board of jurors, trying to tell the board of jurors na disqualified ang Honor Thy Father...

"Sino ba ang nanalo ng Best Picture? #WalangForever.

"Sino ang nanalo ng Second Best Picture? Buy Now Die Later.

"Now, I'm not trying to tell you na meron.

"Kaya nga that's the reason why we're trying to subpoena you [MMFF Execom at ang auditing firm nito], to bring to us kung ano yung bawat score ng bawat member ng bawat board of jurors…"

Ang Honor Thy Father ay 2015 MMFF entry ng Reality Entertainment, habang ang #WalangForever at Buy Now Die Later ay sa Quantum Films.

DOMINIC DU DENIES FAVORING ATTY. JOJI. Mariing pinabulaanan ni 2015 MMFF Execom member Dominic Du ang akusasyon ni Representative Fernandez.

Kontra-pahayag ni Du, na kinalap ng PEP mula sa recorded minutes ng January 13 Congress meeting:

"Mr. Chairman, with due respect to Congressman Dan Fernandez and to all the other honorable congressmen, I never get involved with any deliberations of the jurors.

"I was there together with Manay Ichu, assigned by the executive committee, to attend to the needs of the jurors."

Ang 2015 MMFF Execom member na si Marichu Vera-Perez Maceda, na kilala bilang Manay Ichu sa industriya, ay kasama ni Dominic Du na nag-assist sa December 21, 2015, meeting ng MMFF jurors.

Giit ni Du, "I don't get involved with the deliberations.

"I am not a member of the jurors. I don't vote."

Hinarap din ni Du ang PEP.ph upang sagutin ang alegasyon ng conflict of interest na ibinato sa kanya ng Reality Entertainment at ni Laguna Representative Dan Fernandez.

Partikular na ang diumano'y ugnayan ni Du kay Atty. Joji Alonso, prodyuser ng #WalangForever at Buy Now Die Later.

Samantala, nilinaw din ni Atty. Joji na hindi sila magkasosyo ni Du sa anumang negosyo.

ORTIGAS CONNECTION. Ayon kay Atty. Joji, ang kanyang co-producer sa #Walang Forever ay si Fernando Ortigas.

Kaugnay nito, tinanong ng PEP si Atty. Joji tungkol sa pagiging hurado ng pamangkin ni Fernando "Nando" Ortigas na si Alexandria "Alex" Ortigas.

Sa imbestigasyon ng PEP, si Chairman Carlos ang nagsabing siya ang pumili kay Alex Ortigas na maging hurado sa 2015 MMFF. Pinagbasehan daw niya ang mga kakilala niya na may sapat na kaalaman sa industriya ng pelikula.

Ngunit paano kung mabigyan ng kulay ang ugnayan sa pagitan ng #WalangForever co-producer at pamangkin nitong MMFF juror?

Ganting-sagot ni Atty. Joji: "Pero may kinalaman ba si Nando sa pag-appoint ng jurors?

"And did he ever talk to his pamangkin about the film?

"Nando is too good a person to go to that level.

"Kasi, pareho kami. Kung manalo ka, manalo ka.

"Ilang beses na ba kami natalo? Nagreklamo ba kami?"

INTERLOCKING INTERESTS. Inalmahan din ni Atty. Joji ang alegasyong ginamit niya ang ugnayan nila ni Du upang manalo ang #Walang Forever bilang best picture at Buy Now Die Later bilang second best picture.

"Nabanggit mo na rin lang kanina yung interlocking.

"You can go to the SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] any time.

"Sino ba ang isa sa stockholders at incorporators ng Regal? Si Ng Meng Tam, up to this day.

"Ang tagal-tagal na ni Tam sa MMFF as member of the Execom.

"Nung nawala si Tam, I cannot recall anymore what year that was, ang pumalit sa kanya [si] Marcus Ng.

"Tingnan mo ang formation ng corporations. Ang dami kasi nilang corporations—Blackbird, Reality ata.

"Sino bang incorporator sa Reality? Marcus Ng.

"Retrace it. Kasi nakita ko na 'yan lahat.

"Pero never ako nagsalita, kasi sabi ko, live and let live.

"If they won, I would never say anything. E, di kayo nanalo.

"Pero kapag ako ang nanalo, bakit [sasabihin] nandaya?"

Sa isyu ng pagkaka-disqualify ng Honor Thy Father para sa best picture, sinabi ni Atty. Joji na hindi niya ginustong mawala ang pelikula ng Reality Entertainment sa naturang kategorya.

Sa katunayan daw, nabanggit ng abugada ang Honor Thy Father sa kanyang speech nang tanggapin niya ang Best Picture award para sa #WalangForever.

"Yes, because I felt, yun na nga ang sinabi ko, bakla ang decision ng MMFF na hindi sila isinama sa best picture.

"Baklang-bakla talaga yun.

"Kaya, when I said the speech, I had to mention the fact that it's not a happy place, kasi hindi buo.

"When you compete for something, di ba, mas masaya yun na meron kang katunggali na at par with you para mas tataas ang bar?"

PEP INVESTIGATES. Sa usapin ng conflict of interest, nakakuha ang PEP ng kopya ng mga dokumentong nagpapakita ng sanga-sangang koneksiyon ng Honor Thy Father producers na sina Dondon at Direk Erik sa 2015 MMFF Execom official na si Marcus Ng.

Napatunayan din ng PEP ang lawyer-client relationship nina Dominic Du at Atty. Joji Alonzo.

Mababasa ang palitan ng sagot sa pagitan ng Reality Entertainment producers at Quantum Films producer sa PEP Special Report na ito sa portion na may pamagat na "CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN PRODUCERS & MMFF OFFICIALS REVEALED."

Nakita rin ng PEP na sa maliit na industriya ng pelikulang Pilipino, mahahanapan ng koneksyonm, hanggang sa fourth level of consanguinity, ang mga key players ng MMFF at ng mga gumagawa ng pelikula, halos taon-taon ng film festival.

  1. TIMELINE
  2. WARRING PARTIES
  3. MMFF 2015 ISSUES IN BRIEF
  4. FULL LIST OF PLAYERS
  5. THE MMFF 2015 CONTROVERSY
    THAT OPENED PANDORA'S BOX
    1. 1ST ISSUE: DATE OF APPLICATION
    2. 2ND ISSUE: REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S NONDISCLOSURE VIOLATION
    3. 3RD ISSUE: PROCEDURAL LAPSE
    4. 4TH ISSUE: DOMINIC AND MARICHU MEET WITH THE JURORS
    5. 5TH ISSUE: SHORT NOTICE OF DISQUALIFICATION
    6. 6TH ISSUE: HONOR THY FATHER PARTICIPATES IN HAWAII FILM FEST
    7. ONE-DAY-LAST-DAY PRACTICE
  6. UNRAVELLING CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN PRODUCERS & MMFF
    1. ALLEGED EVIDENCE AGAINST
      ATTY. JOJI ALONSO & DOMINIC DU
    2. QUESTIONABLE FACEBOOK POSTS
    3. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF?
    4. REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S LINKS
      TO MMFF EXECOM
    5. #WALANGFOREVER PRODUCER:
      "WE DIDN'T CHEAT TO WIN"
    6. CHAIRMAN EMERSON CARLOS ON CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST ISSUE
  7. HOW TO DISQUALIFY A MOVIE:
    JURORS TELL CONFLICTING STORIES
  8. MMFF JURORS DENY BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS
  9. DOMINIC DU DENIES INVOLVEMENT
    IN TICKET-PRICE ANOMALY

MMFF JURORS DENY BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS

  •  
  • Interviews & Research by Jo-Ann Q. Maglipon & Rachelle Siazon / Text by Rachelle Siazon
  •  

Nakarating sa PEP ang usap-usapan sa ilang showbiz circles na sinuhulan diumano ng isang prodyuser ang mga hurado ng Metro Manila Film Festival 2015 ng money envelopes at laptops.

Dahil ang sabi-sabi ay ang nangsuhol ay ang prodyuser ng winning films sa naturang festival, ininterbyu namin si Atty. Joji Alonso. Siya ang prodyuser ng #WalangForever at Buy Now Die Later, na No. 1 and No. 2 respectively sa kategoryang Best Film.

Nakarating nga raw kay Atty. Joji ang bali-balitang iyon.

Pahayag niya: “Yung sinasabi nila ay I can actually control the awards?

"Actually, may kumakalat na ganyan. Somebody is spreading the story that I’ve been giving laptops and envelopes to the members of the jury.”

Pinabulaanan ni Atty. Joji ang alegasyon.

Giit ng abugada, “Ang sagot ko naman dun, 'Aba! The members of the jury should be insulted with what they [gossips] were saying.'

“Kaya ako, simple lang ‘yan, e. Get any member of the jury who can say under oath na binayaran ko, na in-influence ko, na nilapitan ko.

“Idemanda nila ako anytime, anywhere. Kasi, alam ko wala!

“Masarap manalo ng award, but I will never and I have never bought any award.”

NO PAY-OFFS. Mariin din pinabulaanan ang usap-usapan ng members ng board of jurors na nakapanayam ng PEP, kabilang na sina Arnold Vegafria, Jullie-Yap Daza, at Carmen Musngi.

Sabi ni Arnold, “Not with me. Don’t think so.

“I don’t even know the other jurors because we come from different sectors.

“We came together only during deliberations.

“Si Tita Jullie lang ang nakakausap ko. Nag-uusap kami kasi I know her.

“Pero I’m sure wala rin siyang natanggap na offer kasi she would have told me kung meron.”

Nanindigan din si Arnold na imposibleng maimpluwensiyahan ng isang producer ang MMFF jurors, lalo pa’t pinili sila mula sa iba’t ibang sektor ng lipunan.

“We do not talk or discuss our votes," dagdag ni Arnold.

“Tsaka ‘yang mga nag-o-offer, ang takot lang sa amin!

“Imposible namang bayaran nila ang lahat ng mga jurors.

“Alam mo, marami diyan mga academe. Chairman, National Arts Commission [Felipe de Leon], [former] dean of Colegio de San Juan de Letran [Rowena Capulong-Reyes, currently an FEU professor]...

“Paano nila babayaran lahat yun?”

Tatlong MMFF na ang pinagsilbihan ni Arnold bilang hurado.

HONORARIUM. Isa pang hurado, si Carmen Musngi, ang nagsabing walang katotohanan ang usap-usapan ng suhol ng money envelopes at laptops.

Giit niya, “Never ako nakatanggap.

“Four years akong nag-judge diyan. Hindi ako nakatanggap.”

Nilinaw rin niyang walang ibang perang natanggap ang mga hurado maliban sa honorarium na P2,000 kada pelikulang kanilang pinapanood.

Kung walo ang entries noong 2015, P16,000 ang total honorarium fee ng bawat MMFF juror.

Sa apat na beses na naging hurado si Musngi sa MMFF Awards, wala raw siyang nakitang nangyaring block voting para sa sinumang nominado sa anumang kategorya.

Paliwanag ni Musngi, “Hindi, kasi ang proseso, we have a deliberation. Kapag nag-deliberation, we are open to the pool of ideas.

“Pero, sa judging itself, hiwalay na kami.

“It’s not acceptable practice to ask fellow jurors, ‘Ikaw, sinong ibinoto mo?’

“Kasi sunud-sunod yun. Madaming categories.

“So, wala na kaming time to confide in our seatmates.”

Sa bandang huli, walang makapagsabi kung sino ang nagpakalat ng diumano’y panunuhol ng isang producer.

EXECOM MEMBERS. Hindi lamang mga hurado ang sinasabing tumanggap diumano ng laptop o pera, kundi pati rin daw ang MMFF Execom members.

Sa pakikipag-usap ng PEP sa MMFF Executive Committee members na sina Marichu ‘Manay Ichu’ Maceda at Dominic Du, nabanggit ng huli ang tungkol sa bali-balitang nasuhulan diumano ang mga jurors:

“Alam mo, yung mga ganun, for me is so unfair.

“Because ako, as an Execom member, wala akong natatanggap.

“You know what, Manay, Wilson Tieng called me, naririnig niya yung tsismis.”

Sagot ni Manay Ichu, “Ako, ni hindi ko narinig, ngayon ko lang narinig ‘yang tsismis.”

Nagkuwento si Du na nagpapatawa: “Wilson is an Execom member, di ba?

“Sabi ko, ‘Wilson, may natanggap ka ba? Kasi kung may natanggap ka, you tell me, I’ll complain, kasi wala akong natanggap.’”

Para kay Du, hindi rin siya naniniwalang may sinuhulan ang Quantum Films producer na si Atty. Joji para panalunin ang alinman sa dalawang entries ng abugada noong MMFF 2015.

“Alam mo, for the past years that I have been involved in MMFF, ngayon lang ako nakarinig ng ganun—nagbibigay ng envelope, ng laptop.

“Because, it is our policy not to announce the members of the jurors until the awards night.

“Para walang lumapit, walang mag-lobby—that was exactly the reason.”

Sa panig ng Reality Entertainment, wala raw ideya si Erik Matti, direktor ng Honor Thy Father, sa kontrobersiya ng panunuhol ng isang producer sa MMFF jurors.

Sabi ni Erik, “Hindi ko narinig ‘yan, hindi ko narinig ‘yan.

“Yung magulo lang, na hindi na namin pinursue, because we can’t get any decent statement.

“Iba-iba nga yung sinasabi nilang nanalo sa awards prior to the disqualification, kasi may mga nakakausap akong jury, so iba-iba.

“Not necessarily kami ang nanalo, pero yung best actress ganito, for best actor...iba-iba."

“Pero kapag kinausap mo naman, ‘Would you testify dun sa Congress?’ Wala namang may gusto.

“So, wala na, di ba?”

Samantala, ang huradong si Arnold Vegafria ay nanindigang deserving ang pelikulang #WalangForever bilang best picture.

“She [Atty. Joji] deserved the best-picture award. I voted Walang Forever.

“Even last year [2014], she deserved the [second] best picture [award for English Only Please].

NEW RULES. Wala raw sa posisyong magkomento si Arnold tungkol sa diumano'y koneksiyon ni Atty. Joji sa MMFF official na si Dominic Du.

“Wala akong alam diyan,” sabi niya.

Kung anu't ano man, naniniwala si Arnold na mabuti ring magkaroon ng diskurso para sa pagtataguyod ng industriya ng pelikulang Pilipino.

“Ngayon, itong nangyaring gulo, it’s good because big help na mayroong diskusyon.

“We must discuss the new rules."

  1. TIMELINE
  2. WARRING PARTIES
  3. MMFF 2015 ISSUES IN BRIEF
  4. FULL LIST OF PLAYERS
  5. THE MMFF 2015 CONTROVERSY
    THAT OPENED PANDORA'S BOX
    1. 1ST ISSUE: DATE OF APPLICATION
    2. 2ND ISSUE: REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S NONDISCLOSURE VIOLATION
    3. 3RD ISSUE: PROCEDURAL LAPSE
    4. 4TH ISSUE: DOMINIC AND MARICHU MEET WITH THE JURORS
    5. 5TH ISSUE: SHORT NOTICE OF DISQUALIFICATION
    6. 6TH ISSUE: HONOR THY FATHER PARTICIPATES IN HAWAII FILM FEST
    7. ONE-DAY-LAST-DAY PRACTICE
  6. UNRAVELLING CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN PRODUCERS & MMFF
    1. ALLEGED EVIDENCE AGAINST
      ATTY. JOJI ALONSO & DOMINIC DU
    2. QUESTIONABLE FACEBOOK POSTS
    3. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF?
    4. REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S LINKS
      TO MMFF EXECOM
    5. #WALANGFOREVER PRODUCER:
      "WE DIDN'T CHEAT TO WIN"
    6. CHAIRMAN EMERSON CARLOS ON CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST ISSUE
  7. HOW TO DISQUALIFY A MOVIE:
    JURORS TELL CONFLICTING STORIES
  8. MMFF JURORS DENY BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS
  9. DOMINIC DU DENIES INVOLVEMENT
    IN TICKET-PRICE ANOMALY

DOMINIC DU DENIES INVOLVEMENT
IN TICKET-PRICE ANOMALY

  •  
  • Investigative Report by Jo-Ann Q. Maglipon & Rachelle Siazon
  •  

Pagsapit ng araw ng Pasko, December 25, kinagisnan na tanging mga pelikulang Pilipino ang mapapanood sa mga sinehan dahil sa Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).

Hindi rin kaila sa mga manonood ang kumpetisyon sa box office, dahil sa pagtatapos ng filmfest ay inilalabas ang ranking ng highest-grossing films.

Noon lamang 2015 ay umabot ng P1.02 billion ang total gross ng walong MMFF entries: Beauty and The Bestie, My Bebe Love, #Walang Forever, Haunted Mansion, All We Need Is Pag-ibig, Buy Now Die Later, Honor Thy Father, at Nilalang.

Bukod sa senyales ito ng masiglang local film industry, katuparan ito ng isa pang layunin ng MMFF: ang makaipon ng sapat na pondo para sa beneficiaries ng festival.

Ang kasalukuyang beneficiaries ng MMFF ay ang mga sumusunod: Movie Workers' Welfare Foundation (Mowelfund), Motion Picture Anti-Film Piracy Council (MPAFPC), Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), at Optical Media Board (OMB).

Ang mga ahensiya at organisasyong ito ang tatanggap kada taon ng proceeds ng makukulektang amusement tax ng MMFF Executive Committee (Execom) mula sa mga sinehan ng Metro Manila sa loob ng sampung araw ng film festival.

Ang sharing scheme ng pondo mula sa nakulektang amusement tax ng MMFF Execom ay: 50 percent para sa Mowelfund, 20 percent sa MPAFPC, 10 percent sa FDCP, at 5 percent sa OMB.

Alinsunod ito sa probisyon ng Metropolitan Manila Commission (MMC) Executive Order No. 86-09, na nag-uutos sa MMFF Execom na itaguyod ang “economic upliftment” at “professional development” ng mga miyembro ng local film industry.

Lingid sa kaalaman ng ilan, mula pa noong January 2014 ay inirereklamo na ni FAP Director General Leo Martinez ang paglabag umano ng MMFF sa mandato ng E.O. 86-09, dahil hati-hati o “in tranches” kung ibigay nito ang pondo para sa beneficiaries.

Sinabi rin ni Leo sa panayam ng PEP na ng kabuuang pondong nakalaan para sa FAP sa taong 2013 ay P3.6 million.

Ngunit paunti-unti raw inisyu ang naturang pondo—P1M noong February 2015; sinundan ng four tranches na tig-P400,000; tapos ay P300,000 noong December 2015; at P700,000 noong February 2016.

Ayon kay Leo, nagsagawa ang Commission on Audit (COA) ng pagsusuri sa financial statement ng MMFF Execom mula 2009 hanggang 2013.

Isa sa rekomendasyon ng COA ay hindi dapat ibinabawas ng MMFF Execom ang festival expenses sa festival proceeds upang maibigay nang buo ang pondo sa MMFF beneficiaries.

Sabi pa ni Leo sa PEP, “Dahil binabawasan nila, may utang ang MMFF Execom na 82.7 million pesos, kasi sila ang tumatanggap ng pera."

Hindi raw sinunod ng MMFF Execom ang rekomendasyon ng COA. Hanggang sa umabot ng P110 million ang utang ng MMFF Execom sa FAP, as of February 2016.

Wala rin umanong sapat na dahilan para hindi mag-isyu ng pondo ang MMFF Execom sa MMFF beneficiaries.

Giit ni Leo, “Twenty days after the last day of the festival dapat tinatanggap na ng MMFF Execom [ang amusement tax].

“Bakit hindi nila binibigay sa amin nang isang bagsakan?”

FAP Director General Leo Martinez (middle) presenting some documents at the Third Congress meeting

MMFF NOT SUBJECT TO COA.Itong reklamo ng pamunuan ng FAP ang isa sa mainit na pinag-usapan sa Congress meetings hinggil sa diumano’y iregularidad sa MMFF.

Pinamunuan ni Quezon City Representative Winston Castelo, chairman ng Metro Manila Development (MMD) House Committee, ang mga miting sa Kongreso na ginanap noong January 11, January 13, at February 18.

Kontrobersiyal ang posisyon ni MMDA Chairman Emerson Carlos; sinabi nitong ang MMFF ay maituturing na “private entity.”

Pati na rin ang pahayag nito na ang amusement tax na nire-remit ng mga sinehan ay maituturing na “donated money” at hindi kailangang sumailalim sa COA.

Mariin itong kinontra ng mga kongresista.

Sinabi nilang maituturing pa ring "people's money" o government funds ang MMFF proceeds dahil ito ay mula sa kinaltas na buwis sa mga sinehan sa Metro Manila kada festival.

Paliwanag ni Chairman Carlos sa panayam ng PEP: “It’s not under COA because it’s a private entity.

“Yun ang opinion ng DOJ [Department of Justice]. May pending case diyan.

“The only one who could say na it should be under COA is the court, unless gumawa ng law.”

Nakasaad sa tinutukoy ni Chairman Carlos na “DOJ Opinion No. 99 Series of 2004” na bagamat nabuo ang MMFF alinsunod sa Metro Manila Commission (MMC) Executive Order 86-09, wala umanong “governmental function” dahil “occasional” lamang ang naturang film festival.

Sabi sa isang bahagi ng opinyon ng DOJ, “Thus the conduct of the entire film festival, from the pre-qualification of screenplays to the selection of official film entries up to the giving of artistic and technical awards may be considered a private affair or undertaking.”

Sinuri rin ng PEP ang MMC E.O. 86-09 na may lagda ng noo'y Manila Governor na si Jose Lina.

Makikita rito ang terminong “donation of amusement taxes,” kung saan inatasan ang lahat ng municipal mayors at treasurers na i-exempt ang lahat ng sinehan sa pagbayad ng amusement tax.

Ito ay upang ilaan ang naturang amusement tax para sa MMFF, na isinasagawa sa loob ng sampung araw kada taon.

Ipinaliwanag din ito ng MMFF Execom sa position paper na kanilang isinumite sa Kongreso, hinggil sa isyu ng kinukolektang amusement tax sa Metro Manila theaters kada festival.

Sabi rito, “A careful perusal of the above arrangement shows that there will be no actual collection of taxes by the government units.

“The money equivalent to the amusement tax shall be directly remitted by proprietors, lessees, and theater operators to the Executive Committee

“The value of said tax will only serve as a benchmark to determine the actual amount to be remitted to the Executive Committee as trustee of the beneficiaries.”

Sa kabila nito, iginiit ng MMFF Execom sa kanilang position paper na handa silang sumailalim sa isang “special audit” ng COA “for the purposes of transparency.”

COMPUTATION OF MMFF PROCEEDS. Sa patuloy na panayam ng PEP kay Chairman Carlos, ipinaliwanag nitong ang amusement tax na nire-remit sa MMFF Execom ay 10 percent lang ng total box-office receipts sa Metro Manila theaters tuwing MMFF period.

“According to our data, half of the 1.02 billion pesos [gross ng 2015 MMFF] comes from Metro Manila. The rest of the total gross sa provinces na.

“So, 500 million pesos ang pinag-uusapan natin [na profit mula sa 2015 festival].”

Mula sa P500 million na kinita ng Metro Manila theaters ay humigit-kumulang P23 million lamang umano ang matatanggap ng MMFF Execom.

Ito ay sa kadahilanang “between 0 to 10 percent ang amusement tax” na ipinapatupad ng bawat local government unit (LGU) sa Metro Manila.

Tulad halimbawa ng Quezon City, na may kabuuang “35 percent” na mga sinehan sa Metro Manila, ngunit hindi sumisingil ng amusement tax.

Kaugnay nito, sinagot ni Chairman Carlos ang reklamo ng FAP kung bakit maliit lang ang pondong natatanggap ng beneficiaries sa kabila ng malaking perang kinikita ng MMFF entries.

Pahayag niya, “Hinahabol nila, 'Bakit 23 million pesos lang ang nakolekta ninyo? Bakit hindi lahat pumupunta sa amin?'

“E, anong panggastos ng MMFF? Wala naman kaming funding from the government.

“Hindi nga government entity ito. Walang funding from anywhere.”

Ayon pa kay Chairman Carlos, hindi agarang maiisyu ng MMFF Execom ang pondo sa beneficiaries dahil kailangan din ng MMFF ng pondo para sa festival expenses.

“So, yung 23 million pesos na yun, ginagamit para sa awards night; kasama diyan ang parada, ang New Wave [category], at independent films.

“Wala naman nanonood nun, so ang film festival ang nagbabayad sa sinehan just to develop and spur independent movies.

“Yung mga cash prizes para sa mga nanalo, kinukuha diyan. I-minus mo pa ang operating expenses.”

Inalmahan naman ito ni Leo Martinez na nagsabing hindi dapat bawasan ng MMFF Execom ang pondo mula sa amusement tax na nire-remit ng sinehan.

Buwelta ni Leo, “That is baloney! Tapos na yung festival.

“Dalawa ang source ng funds: Metro Manila [amusement tax] and the rest of the Philippines.”

TICKET-PRICE INCREASE. Hindi pa man nareresolba ang tungkol sa diumano’y kulang-kulang na pondong dini-distribute sa MMFF beneficiaries, naharap ang MMFF Execom sa hiwalay na akusasyong may kinalaman sa “ticket-price increase” sa provincial theaters.

Pinagdiskusyunan sa ginanap na February 18 Congress meeting ang tungkol sa diumano’y pagpataw ng mas mataas na presyo ng ticket sa mga sinehan sa probinsiya, na diumano'y kinukulekta ng MMFF Execom bilang additional funds.

Mariin naman itong pinabulaanan ng mga miyembro ng MMFF Execom na dumalo sa naturang meeting.

Sabi ni Chairman Carlos, base sa minutes of the February 18 Congress meeting na nakalap ng PEP, “We’ve been informed of this practice dun sa mga probinsiya where the theaters increase their prices during the Manila Film Festival period.

“But the MMFF has no hand in this, in so far as we are concerned.

“Based on the information that I gathered, this is an arrangement between the theater owners and the movie producers.

“Any additional price in the tickets in the provinces do not redound in the funds being collected by MMFF for the beneficiaries as provided.”

Sinegundahan din ito ng 2015 MMFF Execom Chairman na si Jesse Ejercito, na nagsasabing walang kontrol ang kanilang pamunuan sa anumang profit na manggagaling mula sa probinsiya.

Aniya, “Ang arrangement ay between the theaters and the producers themselves.

“They increased [ticket prices based] sa agreement nila pareho.

“Wala hong involvement ang Metro Manila film fest executive committee.”

Gayunman, kinuwestiyon ng mga kongresista, na sina Winston Castelo, Johnny Revilla, at Dan Fernandez, base sa nakalap nilang souvenir program ng MMFF noong 2006, kung bakit mayroon doong naitalang “add on” o “price increase” na kinulekta ang MMFF Execom mula 1986 hanggang 2005.

Nakalap ng mga kongresista ang souvenir program mula kay Leo.

DOMINIC DU DENIES INVOLVEMENT. Kasabay nito ay inihayag ni Leo sa Kongreso na ang MMFF beneficiary diumano ng naturang “ticket-price increase” sa provincial theaters noong nakaraang festival ay ang Motion Picture Anti-Film Piracy Council (MPAFPC).

Lahad ni Leo tungkol sa nakalap niyang impormasyon, base sa pakikipag-usap niya kay Edgar Tejerero ng SM: “Ang nakita ko lang na report ay for 2015.

“Wala po akong nakita [na ebidensiya] from 2006 to 2014...na sa [Motion Picture] Anti Film Piracy Council napupunta.

“Pero yung 2015 po... sa Anti Piracy [MPAFPC raw napunta].

“Ganito po ang report sa akin, na report kay Mr. Tejeroro ng kanyang tao...

“Every year daw ganun ang ginagawa.”

Read: Leo names alleged recipient of MMFF ticket price increase

DU ANSWERS OTHER ISSUES. Ang kasalukuyang presidente ng MPAFPC ay si Dominic Du, na nasangkot sa kontrobersiya kaugnay ng pagkakadiskwalipika sa best-picture category ng Honor Thy Father.

Kinuwestiyon ang diumano’y impluwensiya ni Du bilang MMFF Execom member at bilang pinuno ng ibang komite ng MMFF, tulad ng pagiging chairman ng Sales and Playdate Monitoring Committee.

Ngunit mariing pinabulaanan ni Du ang alegasyong napunta sa MPAFPC ang diumano’y nakolektang ticket-price increase sa provincial theaters noong nagdaang festival.

Sabi ni Du, sa eksklusibong panayam ng PEP:

“Let me make it very clear.

“As far as I know, ang price increase is supposed to be part of the ticket price that belongs to the producers and theaters.

“As far as our records are concerned, wala kaming natanggap na any remittance from any theater nung 2015.”

Sinagot din ni Du ang alegasyong sangkot siya sa sinasabing ticket-price increase scheme at nakakatanggap siya ng koleksiyon mula rito.

Kaugnay ito ng estimated ticket-price collections, mula noong 2006 hanggang 2013, na isinumite ni Leo Martinez sa Kongreso.

Nakuha raw ni Leo ang impormasyon sa isang 2006 souvenir program.

Buwelta ni Du: “Hindi ko mataandaan yung sinasabi niyang souvenir program.

“However, yung sinasabi niyang 2006... at the time, naging president lang ako ng Anti Film Piracy Council [MPAFPC], 2011.

“Year 2006, I was not even the chairman of Sales and Playdate Monitoring committee and Execom committee member ng MMFF. Hindi ako doon.

“Naging chairman lang ako 2011...

“Although involved na rin ako sa committees ng MMFF, pero hindi pa ako ang chairman ng Playdate and Sales Monitoring committee.

“Hindi rin ako ang president ng Anti Film Piracy [MPAFPC] at the time.”

Hindi nabigyang-linaw sa Kongreso ang isyu tungkol sa ticket-price increase dahil hindi nakadalo noon si Du at wala rin ang representatives ng theaters at producers.

DONDON AND ERIK'S TAKE. Nang tanungin ng PEP ang Reality Entertainment producers na sina Dondon Monteverde at Erik Matti, wala raw silang alam tungkol sa anumang ticket-price increase na napupunta sa producers.

Sabi ni Dondon, “Hindi alam ni [Chairman Emerson] Carlos ‘yan at hindi rin naming mga producers alam na may ganyan palang nangyayari on the side.

“Yung price increase na niri-request niya [Leo] na mapunta sa kanya, sa Anti Film Piracy [MPAFPC napunta].

“Lahat naman ‘yan lumabas kay Leo Martinez, e. Lahat ‘yan ano ni Leo.

“Saan napunta yung price increase? E, dati, yung price increase napupunta ‘yan sa beneficiaries. Bakit biglang natigil siya?”

Nang tanungin naman ng PEP si Atty. Josabeth "Joji" Alonso, producer ng Quantum Films, sinabi nitong hindi raw siya pamilyar sa usapin ng price increase sa provincial theaters.

Hinahayaan daw kasi niyang booker ang makipag-negotiate ng ticket price sa provincial theaters kapag panahon ng MMFF.

ATTY. JOJI: WHY ONLY DU? Sabi niya sa hiwalay na panayam ng PEP, “Unang-una, question lang. Ano ba 'yang increase sa provincial ticket sales?

“Is that tax? It’s not tax. That’s ticket price, assuming lang na merong increase. Hindi ko masagot ‘yan.

"Sa provinces kasi, normally sa MMFF, hindi ko pinapansin 'yan, kasi booker ang nagne-nego niyan."

Gayunman, nagtataka raw si Atty. Joji kung bakit si Du ang nadidiin sa isyu ng ticket-price increase gayong mayroong board members na bumubuo ng MPAFPC.

Kabilang rito si Remy Monteverde, na tumatayong chairman ng MPAFPC at siyang ama ni Dondon Monteverde.

DOING THE MATH. Sa kabilang banda, nanindigan si Du na wala siyang natanggap na ticket-price increase sa provincial theaters, mapa-personal man o mapa-pamunuan ng kanyang organisasyon.

Ipinaliwanag din ni Du na kung mayroon mang ticket-price increase sa provincial theaters, ang makikinabang raw nito ay producers at theater owners.

Kung minsan daw ay mayroong usapan ang producers at theater owners na taasan ang ticket price kung kumpiyansa silang papatok sa takilya ang isang pelikula.

Kung halimbawa ay P200 ang napagkasunduang fixed ticket price sa isang sinehan, makakaltasan umano ito ng 10 percent withholding tax para sa LGU.

Ang paghahatian ng theater owner at producer ay ang net cost na P180.

Paliwanag pa ni Dominic, “Hindi naman nangangahulugan na kapag P180, tapos nag-increase ka ng P20, you are going to compute separately.

“So, ibig sabihin, hindi nila makikita na yung price increase pinaghatian na ng producers and theaters.

“Unless you bill it separately. And there’s no such thing, because yung bill, when you, as a producer, bill the theaters after showing your film, there is only total gross. Yun.”

Ayon pa kay Du, ang standard industry practice pagdating sa sharing scheme ng theater owners at producers ay depende sa weekly average net gross ng isang pelikula.

“The higher the weekly average, the higher the ceiling percentage of the producer.

“The highest producer share is up to 65 percent, the lowest is 50.

“Ang theater, the highest is 50 [percent], the lowest is 35 [percent].

“It is an agreement between producers and theaters na matagal na in effect.”

VOLUNTARY DONATIONS DURING BAYANI FERNANDO’S TERM. Sa isyu ng ticket-price increase, inamin ni 2015 MMFF Finance Chairman Edenison Fainsan na may “voluntary” collections mula sa provincial theaters noong panahon ng panunungkulan ni MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando.

Sabi ni Fainsan, ayon sa recorded minutes ng February 18 Congress meeting, “This was the time of Bayani Fernando, your honor. After that, wala na po.”

Ayon pa kay Fainsan, “short duration” lang tumanggap ang MMFF Execom ng “voluntary” collection noon.

“Parang request po nila sa mga theater owners. In fact, yung LGUs, nag-request sila. Pero yung iba nagbigay, yung iba hindi.”

Ayon naman kay Rep. Winston Castelo, lumabas sa isang COA report ang diumano’y kuwestiyonableng financial expenditures ng MMFF mula 2003 hanggang 2006.

Isa sa findings ng naturang COA report ay nagmula raw sa pondo ng MMFF ang ginasta para sa birthday celebration ni MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando—P500,000 noong 2003; P500,000 noong 2004; P100,000 noong 2005; at P500,000 noong 2006.

Nabanggit din ni Representative Castelo ang milyun-milyong unliquidated expenses na ginasta para sa “MMFF cultural projects” at “mayoral cultural projects” noong panahong iyon.

Bagamat wala itong kaugnayan sa alegasyong ibinabato sa MMFF Execom ng 2015, tila ang pinupunto ng mga kongresista ay mayroong mga insidente kung saan nakukuwestiyon ang paggamit ng pondo ng festival.

Lalo pa't hindi umano consistent ang pagsagot ni Fainsan pagdating sa nalalaman nito tungkol sa ticket-price increase sa provincial theaters noong panahon ni dating MMDA Chairman Fernando.

BOOTS ANSON ON CHAIRMAN FERNANDO. Tiyempo namang naroon sa Congress meeting ang aktres na si Boots Anson-Rodrigo, na bukod sa pagiging 2015 MMFF Execom member ay kasalukuyang presidente ng Mowelfund.

Ilang beses na ring naitalaga si Boots bilang MMFF Execom member, at sa Congress meeting ay nagkomento siya hinggil sa kontrobersiyang kinasangkutan ni former MMDA Chairman Fernando.

Sabi ni Boots kay Representative Castelo: “Looking back to your inputs on the financial reports and some incidentals there, yung kaso about Mr. Fernando, when those happened, when the actual disbursements happened, hindi ho namin alam sa Execom.

“Lumabas ‘yan sa isang investigation that same year, that’s why we know about that now.

“What I remember is ibinalik na ho yata ni Chairman Fernando yun and that has been resolved.

“But, I guess, you just wanted to refresh us on this, to emphasize the point that dapat mas maraming nalalaman ang finance committee at mas maraming nire-report [for the purpose of transparency].

“Pero public document na ‘yan by now.”

MMFF 2015 Execom at the third Congress meeting

NO COMPLAINT FROM MOWELFUND. Bilang presidente ng Mowelfund, hiningan ng ng PEP ng pahayag si Boots hinggil sa hati-hating pag-isyu ng pondo sa beneficiaries ng MMFF.

Ang kabuuang pondo na natanggap daw ng Mowelfund mula sa 2013 MMFF ay P7 million, at tinatayang P9 million ang inaasahan nilang pondo mula sa 2014 MMFF.

Bagamat ang Mowelfund ang may pinakamalaking porsiyento ng nakukuhang pondo kumpara sa ibang beneficiaries, aminado si Boots na kulang pa ito para sa total annual operational cost ng organisasyon.

Gayunman, nilinaw ni Boots na walang inihain na anumang reklamo ang Mowelfund laban sa MMFF Execom kaugnay ng kanilang natatanggap na pondo.

Sabi pa ni Boots sa e-mail na ipinadala nito sa PEP: “We cut costs and increase revenues through other sources, like direct donations and countless fundraising activities.

“Yes, we get our subsidy in tranches.

“For the receivables from the projected 9 million pesos for the 2014 festival, we still have a balance which we hope to receive within the quarter.

“We try to be as flexible and resourceful in the meantime.”

UNRESOLVED ISSUE. Sa kasalukuyan, inihayag ni Leo na wala pang resolusyon ang Kongreso hinggil sa inireklamo niyang iregularidad sa pag-isyu ng pondo ng MMFF Execom sa FAP.

“Wala pa rin, e. Ang hinihintay namin, report. Wala pang findings.

“Yun din hinihintay namin para may guidance sa kung ano ang susunod na step,” sabi ni Leo.

Sa katunayan, P800,000 pa lamang ang natanggap ng FAP sa “first tranche” ng pondong inilaan ng MMFF Execom mula sa 2014 festival.

“Yung first tranche ngayon, mas maliit pa kaysa last year na one million pesos.

“Ni hindi namin alam ang total na matatanggap namin. Yun ang problema.”

Ang reklamong ito ni Leo laban sa pamunuan ng MMFF Execom ay nakabinbin sa Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office mula pa noong January 2014.

Ayon kay Leo, malinaw na nakasaad sa MMC E.O. 86-09, na inaatasan ang theater owners na mag-remit sa MMFF Execom bilang trustee ng festival “not later than 20 days after the last day of the festival.”

At kung mahuli man ng pagbayad ang mga sinehan ay kinakailangan nilang magbayad ng “50 percent surcharge” bilang penalty.

Giit niya, "Ang point is, illegal ang ginagawa nila. Maski anong rason nila, kasi yun ang nakasaad.”

  1. TIMELINE
  2. WARRING PARTIES
  3. MMFF 2015 ISSUES IN BRIEF
  4. FULL LIST OF PLAYERS
  5. THE MMFF 2015 CONTROVERSY
    THAT OPENED PANDORA'S BOX
    1. 1ST ISSUE: DATE OF APPLICATION
    2. 2ND ISSUE: REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S NONDISCLOSURE VIOLATION
    3. 3RD ISSUE: PROCEDURAL LAPSE
    4. 4TH ISSUE: DOMINIC AND MARICHU MEET WITH THE JURORS
    5. 5TH ISSUE: SHORT NOTICE OF DISQUALIFICATION
    6. 6TH ISSUE: HONOR THY FATHER PARTICIPATES IN HAWAII FILM FEST
    7. ONE-DAY-LAST-DAY PRACTICE
  6. UNRAVELLING CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN PRODUCERS & MMFF
    1. ALLEGED EVIDENCE AGAINST
      ATTY. JOJI ALONSO & DOMINIC DU
    2. QUESTIONABLE FACEBOOK POSTS
    3. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF?
    4. REALITY ENTERTAINMENT'S LINKS
      TO MMFF EXECOM
    5. #WALANGFOREVER PRODUCER:
      "WE DIDN'T CHEAT TO WIN"
    6. CHAIRMAN EMERSON CARLOS ON CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST ISSUE
  7. HOW TO DISQUALIFY A MOVIE:
    JURORS TELL CONFLICTING STORIES
  8. MMFF JURORS DENY BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS
  9. DOMINIC DU DENIES INVOLVEMENT
    IN TICKET-PRICE ANOMALY

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