Congress approves motion to abolish all MMFF committees due to alleged irregularities

Laguna District 2 Representative Dan Fernandez on Congress probe re: alleged MMFF irregularities: "I move for the creation of a technical working group that deals exactly with the rules and regulations that will govern the Metro Manila Film Festival 2016; and thereby, abolishing all the committees that were created under the Metro Manila Film Festival 2015."

 


Pormal nang naghain ng mosyon si Laguna District 1 Representative Dan Fernandez na bumuo ng isang "technical working group" upang pamunuan ang Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) ngayong taon.

Kaugnay ito ng imbestigasyon ng Kongreso hinggil sa diumano'y iregularidad na naganap noong nakaraang MMFF, kabilang na ang pagkakadiskwalipika ng pelikulang Honor Thy Father sa Best Picture category.

Sabi ni Congressman Fernandez, "I move for the creation of a technical working group that deals exactly with the rules and regulations that will govern the Metro Manila Film Festival 2016; and thereby, abolishing all the committees that were created under the Metro Manila Film Festival 2015."

Ayon pa sa kanya, ang pagbuo ng naturang grupo ay maituturing na "short-term solution" para sa mga diumano'y maanomalyang sistema -- mula sa pagpili ng walong MMFF entries at nominees for winners nang walang sapat na pamantayan at deliberasyon, hanggang sa diumano'y kuwestiyonableng istruktura ng iba't ibang komite na bumubuo sa MMFF.

Bago ito ay nagpahayag si Buhay Party List Representative Lito Atienza ng kanyang posisyon matapos mapakinggan ang mga testimonies ng resource persons na dumalo sa imbestigasyon ng Kongreso.

Aniya, "Unless we reform the festival rules, ako ngayon po nagsasabi na hindi ako magmi-miyembro ng [Dominic] Du festival.

"Ganito po ang nangyayari, lumalabas ang kototohanan na yung film festival ay kontrolado po ni 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 a film festival.

"We are all committed to it, but we want a change in it's very structure.

"So that the genuine intention of helping the film industry is accomplished."

Base ito sa Congressional hearing na ginanap sa Batasang Pambansa Complex, Miyerkules ng hapon, January 13.

HEARING ON ALLEGED CONFLICT OF INTEREST. Dito ay nagpatuloy ang pagkuwestiyon ni Cong. Fernandez sa partisipasyon ng MMFF Executive Committee members na sina Du at Marichu "Manay Ichu" Maceda sa screening at deliberation ng MMFF Board of Jurors kaugnay ng mga nominado sa iba't ibang kategorya ng MMFF Awards.

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Base sa testimony ng isang jury member na si Atty. Carmen Musngi, sinabihan umano nina Du at Maceda ang Board of Jurors ng MMFF Awards na disqualified na ang pelikulang Honor Thy Father sa Best Picture category, nang magsagawa sila ng deliberation noong December 21.

Ani Cong. Fernandez, "Napakabigat na kasi yung dinisqualify ninyo yung [Honor Thy Father sa] Best Film, hindi pa nalalaman ng ExeCom na na-disqualify na pala.

"And, as a matter of fact, December 25 mo lang nalaman, Mr. [MMDA and MMFF Overall Chairman Emerson] Carlos.

"If you connect the dots, one of the members of your executive committee was connected with the producer na involved sa Metro Manila Film Festival.

"Dun dapat natin i-connect, na hindi sila [Honor Thy Father] nabigyan ng due process because of the connection of Mr. Dominic Du kay Atty. Joji Alonso.

"That's the reason why kung si Dominic Du na member ng executive committee is connected with Joji Alonso, the producer ng Walang Forever and Buy Now Die Later, why the heck is he there in the board of jurors?"

Napag-alaman din sa hearing na si Du ay hindi lamang MMFF ExeCom member kundi kumakatawan din bilang Vice Chairman ng MMFF Rules and Regulation Committee at MMFF Selection Committee.

Sa pagpapatuloy ni Cong. Fernandez, "What I'm trying to tell you, Chairman, na-disqualify na ang Honor Thy Father ng December 21, so there is something fishy here.

"Dominic Du, a member of a powerful ExeCom attending the deliberation of the board of jurors, trying to tell the board of jurors na disqualified ang Honor Thy Father?"

Noong Lunes, January 11, naunang naiulat ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) ang tungkol sa rebelasyon ni Cong. Fernandez na nag-uugnay diumano kina Du at Atty. Joji Alonso.

Ito ay sa kabila ng probisyong nagbabawal sa isang MMFF official na magkaroon ng ugnayan sa isang MMFF participant, upang maiwasan ang "conflict of interest."

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READ: Congress probes alleged irregularities in MMFF

Taliwas ito sa pahayag ni Du na hindi siya nakikialam sa botohan kaugnay ng MMFF Awards.

Paliwanag ni Du nang humarap siya sa ikalawang pagdinig sa Kongreso, "I was asked by the special working committee together with the rules committee to be the one to explain to the jurors why they are recommending disqualification from the Best Picture category.

"I did not do it on my own because I have no authority to do it on my own.

"Another thing, I did not include into the explanation of Manay Ichu, she was the one who requested me, 'Maybe you can explain better.'

"That's why I explained to them why the two committees [Special Committee and Rules and Regulations Committee] are recommending the disqualification [of Honor Thy Father].

"Because we feel the jurors deserve the right to know why."

Pinaalala ni Parañaque District 2 Representative Gus Tambunting kay Du na ang paliwanag niya ay hindi tugma sa resulta ng unang pagdinig sa Kongreso hinggil sa diumano'y mga iregularidad sa MMFF.

Sabi ni Congressman Tambunting, "Itong paliwanag ni Ginoong Du ay iba po sa pinaliwanag sa atin last Monday na sila ay hindi na mismo isinama dahil ang instruction ninyo raw ay huwag na isama dahil disqualified na 'yan.

"And this was 11 days prior to the meeting of the ExeCom committee.

"Iyan po ay pinaliwanag at sinabi last meeting at di po ninyo ni-refute 'yan.

"At ngayon, iba naman po ang istorya na parang nag-aadvise lang kayo."

ALLEGED BIAS OF THE "INFLUENTIAL" MR. DU. Kuwinestiyon din ni Cong. Atienza ang diumano'y impluwensiya ni Du sa pamunuan ng MMFF.

Aniya, "I find it strange that a man so powerful, moving around committees within the festival, influencing discussions and decisions?

"Obviously he was influential, and he will remain influential in the next festival unless we take corrective measures.

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"Now, I move that we end the discussion on the Honor Thy Father issue, and let's make a conclusion that there was bias, unfairness, injustice.

"Meanwhile, lumipat tayo sa problema, bakit tayo nagkakaproblema ng ganito? Bakit may Mr. Du?"

Maging si Northern Samar District 2 Representative Emil Ong ay nagsasabing "very obvious na may bias" na naganap sa nakaraang MMFF.

Dagdag pa niya, "Ang kailangan lang talaga natin, fairness.

"Proteksiyunan natin ang MMFF in order that we can really help our local film industry, [wherein] many people are independent.

"Maraming employment kayong binibigyan at to promote arts and culture of the Filipino people."

APPROVAL OF CREATION OF TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP FOR MMFF. Sa pagpapatuloy ng mosyon ni Cong. Fernandez, nilinaw niya na wala umanong probisyon sa ilalim ng R.A. 7924 o "The Law Creating the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA)," na nagtatalaga sa naturang government agency na pamunuan ang MMFF.

Kaugnay nito, maaari umanong magsilbing gabay ang R.A. 9167 o "An Act Creating The Film Development Council of The Philippines, Defining Its Powers and Functions, Appropriating Funds, Therefore, and For Other Purposes" sa pagbuo ng technical working group para sa MMFF 2016.

Pahayag pa ni Cong. Fernandez ukol dito, "At ang power and function of this law according to Section 3, 'to establish organize operate and maintain local and international film festivals, exbitions, and similar activities.'

"In other words, meron na po tayong batas. Ang problem, we are not implementing this law that we in Congress approved."

Sa huli, umayon si Quezon City District 2 Representative Winnie Castelo, Chairman ng House Committee on Metro Manila Development, sa mosyon ni Cong. Fernandez na bumuo ng technical working group.

Aniya, "Let the two laws, as enunciated by Cong. Fernandez, be dealt with and discussed in the technical working group we just created."

Bukas ang PEP sa pahayag ni Mr. Du at iba pang sangkot na personalidad sa diumano'y iregularidad na naganap sa nakaraang MMFF.

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