Oct 17, 2019

In case you’ve been living under a rock, there’s a new historical biopic that’s set for production, this one focused on General Miguel Malvar, a general who fought during the Philippine Revolution and the Philippine–American War. Before you get too excited, though, you might want to steel your expectations, as it’s probably not going to be getting a “Heneral Luna” treatment. 

Just a hunch. 

Before it’s even been released, the movie has already landed a few controversies. For one thing, many are unhappy about the star, who just so happens to be Sen. Manny Pacquiao. There have been rumors that the politician and boxer will be running for office again in 2020, which might lead him to use the movie as a campaign vehicle. For another, while the movie is being produced by JMV Film Productions—a company owned by Atty. Jose Malvar Villegas, Jr., a grandson of Malvar—Malvar’s other descendants have spoken up about their concerns over the film. 

“Apparently, a relative had unilaterally decided that he would enter into an agreement with outside parties to produce the Malvar film without the express consent of the entire clan. This caught us by surprise,” said Gabriel Malvar, Gen. Malvar’s great grandson, in a Facebook post. 

“Had I been consulted, I would have said that I preferred someone not involved in politics or in public service to portray him,” he added, explaining that the senator’s role in politics and his larger-than-lifeness may negatively affect the depiction of his great grandfather. 

In response to the backlash, Atty. Malvar Villegas posted a scathing statement on the film’s official social media pages. “The critics who want to twist the choice of Sen. Pacquiao as a political ploy do not do justice to the ability of Sen. Pacquiao as an actor and smacks figments of imagination of the politicians who are even using close relatives of Gen. Malvar to sow intrigues to serve the interest of some political sectors opposed to the Government [sic] and act as apologies for the foreign colonial regimes that occupied the Philippines for 400 years,” it says. The statement also noted that “bashers” of the film are punishable under the cyber crime law.

Now’s probably the time to point out that Atty. Malvar Villegas is the founder and chairman of Katipunan Kontra Krimen at Korapsyon (KKK), a group that backed Pacquiao’s death penalty proposal. Also? Not liking a movie doesn’t mean you automatically support the other side. It’s a bit like saying that if you didn’t like Michael Bay’s “Pearl Harbor,” then you actually support the bombing of the eponymous war ship.

Malvar Villegas later clarified that he did not need to gain the consent of the Malvar clan to make the movie, as hero’s lives are classified under public domain. In the same article, he also remarked, “The bashers are only making the movie popular we might end up beating ‘Hello, Love, Goodbye’ as the top grossing film.”

Well, we’ll see about that.

 

Get more stories like this by subscribing to our weekly newsletter here.

Read more:

DLSU Dasma’s Spanish colonial museum is offering free admission this month

Artist and activist Carlos Celdran fought the good fight until the end

“Heneral Luna” is coming to Netflix—here are other films we want to see, too

TAGS: Atty. Jose Malvar Villegas general miguel malvar Jr. Manny pacquiao nolisoli.ph