Former FAP head Leo Martinez explains why FDCP took over 37th Luna Awards

by Mell T. Navarro
Dec 5, 2019
Former Film Academy of the Philippines head Leo Martinez on why the FDCP handled the Luna Awards 2019: "Nag-merge yun because of the centennial celebration."

Sixteen years naging director general ng Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) ang veteran actor/comedian na si Leo Martinez.

Ilang administrasyon na ng Pilipinas ang napalitan, pero ayon kay Leo, nito lang October 31, 2019 natapos ang kanyang term – matapos niyang mag-retire sa nasabing pinakamataas na puwesto ng FAP.

Noong November 5, 2019 ay ginanap ang official turnover of office ng pagiging FAP director general ni Leo Martinez to veteran actress Vivian Velez.

Dinaluhan ito ng representatives ng iba’t ibang guilds sa ilalim ng FAP tulad ni Boots Anson Roa-Rodrigo ng Mowelfund. The event was witnessed by Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso, president of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).


Last November 12, sa Facebook personal message namin kay Leo, tinanong namin siya kung paano ang naging proseso ng transition na yun ng kanyang position to Vivian.

Sagot ni Mr. Martinez, “Simple lang, Mell. Nag turn-over ako last November 5, in the presence of our FAP Board [of Trustees], and said thank you and goodbye.

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“Nalaman naman namin yung appointment ni Vivian several weeks before, so, naghanda na agad kami ng turnover.”

Tanong uli namin, ito ba ay dahil rin sa nag-retire niya bilang FAP director general after 16 years? Paano rin nangyari ang pag-merge ng FDCP with FAP for the 37th Luna Awards na ginanap nitong November 30?

Did he or his then FAP board actually plan or intend to seek assistance from Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) chairperson Liza Diño-Seguerra, since nasa transition period nga ang FAP at that time?

Paliwanag ni Leo: “Nag-merge yun because of the centennial celebration. And Luna [Awards] has been FDCP supported the last few years."

Ang tinutukoy niya ay ang year-long celebration ng Centennial Year of Philippine Cinema na nagsimula noong September 12, 2019 at may culmination sa September 11, 2020.

Pagpapatuloy ni Leo: “According to the Executive Order 640-A ang appointment ni Vivian at lahat kami na Director General ng FAP. Hindi ako pwede mag-resign o retire hanggang walang kapalit.

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“Lahat ng presidents ng mga guilds ang bumubuo ng (FAP) Board. I ended my term last October 31."

Nabanggit rin ng veteran actor na “Merong nominees night sa November 20 as announced by FDCP. Awards on November 30.”

Naganap nga ang November 20 Nominees' Night sa isang Quezon City restaurant, at si FDCP Chair Liza ang naging punong-abala. Ganoon rin ang Luna Awards 2019 noong November 30 sa Maybank Theater sa BGC, Taguig City.


Sa Facebook personal message naman namin kay Vivian mismo, narito ang
aming pag-uusap.

Noong November 11, binati namin ang veteran actress sa bago niyang posisyon sa FAP. Tinanong namin siya kung may presscon ba to announce the Luna Awards details?

Sagot ni Vivian, “I think the presscon was moved to November 20. Awards Night is in November 30. FDCP is helping us this year's awards night because of our transition period.”

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Tanong namin: FDCP ba ang in charge sa said presscon?

“Secretariat is being handled by FDCP for now... we're in the middle of changing all FAP personnel,” tugon niya.

Who are your co-officers or officials of FAP?

“We'll be announcing it as soon as we are settled,” sagot niya.

Napag-alaman ng PEP ang (initial) co-officials ni Vivian sa FAP. Ito ay sina:

1. Peter Serrano -- Director for Programs and Special Events

2. Ed Totanes -- Director for Business Development / Communications Officer

3. Veteran production designer Manny Morfe -- Finance Management Officer

Tanong uli namin kay Vivian, “What transpired with the organization to have a new director general?”

Maikling tugon ni Vivian: “Press release and announcement will come soon.”

Noong November 12, binalikan uli namin si Vivian for follow up sa aming inquiry:

1. How do you feel that you were the one appointed by Executive Order of being the Director General of FAP after Sir Leo Martinez retired after 16 years?

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2. What is your over-all vision or generic plan / objectives / aspirations for the new FAP under you?

Kinabukasan, November 13 ay sumagot siya: “Good morning. Let me finish first the turnover and the organizing of my management team then will come up with a statement. Thank you very much for all your support “

Noong November 30, naganap ang Luna Awards sa Maybank Theater, pero hindi nakarating si Vivian.

Nitong December 4, naglabas ng OFFICIAL STATEMENT si Vivian via her Facebook personal account, pati na sa FAP official page.

Malaman ang nasabing statement ng bagong FAP Director General. Tungkol ito sa mga pinagdaanan ng industry organization na ito over the years, ang recently-concluded na Luna Awards 2019, at ang pangakong “I, together with the new management of FAP is here to clean house, correct erroneous traditions, bring back FAP to its roots, and center on the welfare of film workers…”

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Here’s the official statement in full:

“The Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) was established in 1981, mandated to promote film worker careers, advocacies, work relations, among many things. Likewise, FAP was tasked to recognize superlative performances by its members through the Luna Awards, which is considered by many as the pinnacle of all Philippine film industry awards.

“But the FAP became a fallen angel of late and has been reduced to menial work, bordering charity, and entitlement. It functioned through donations, mostly from the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) which FAP has had a hard time and a rough relationship with, unable to collect remittances from which resulted in cash flow issues for the academy. This is not an indictment on the MMFF but the anemic leadership demonstrated by FAP which gave up on its mandate altogether. This weakness resulted in the expulsion of FAP in the ExComm of the MMFF.

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“Another recent example is the abrogation of the then FAP leadership of its prestigious Luna Awards to the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), a partnership that has never been clearly communicated to us — the new administration of the FAP. It appears that the main responsibility of overseeing the preparations and all the processes for nomination and selection of winners for the 2019 Luna Awards has been given to the FDCP, which is a clear violation of FAP's mandate.

“Therefore, I, together with the new management of FAP is here to clean house, correct erroneous traditions, bring back FAP to its roots, and center on the welfare of film workers. There will be arduous days, grumblings, hate and discontent ahead. As L. Tolstoy said, "Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold."


“Vivian Velez

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“Director General

“Film Academy of the Philippines”

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Former Film Academy of the Philippines head Leo Martinez on why the FDCP handled the Luna Awards 2019: "Nag-merge yun because of the centennial celebration."
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