Veteran filmmaker Joel Lamangan is set to create a movie debunking perceived historical distortion in controversial director Darryl Yap's pro-Marcos film Maid in Malacañang.
"Nakita ko noong panahon namin kung papaano sinasalamin ang lahat ng katarantaduhang ginagawa ng rehimeng Marcos," said Lamangan at the "[email protected]" campaign launch in Quezon City Sports Club on July 21. The event is in line with this year's 50th anniversary of the Martial Law declaration of the late ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Set to hit theaters on Aug. 3, Yap previously said the Viva Films-produced movie will give Filipinos a look at “the last 72 hours of the Marcoses inside the Palace through the eyes of one reliable source.” Critics have since sounded the alarm over supposed whitewashing in Maid in Malacañang but during a press conference for the movie, Sen. Imee Marcos said there won't be any, as the movie only seeks to "give additional information to the public."
Lamangan, an activist and political prisoner in his teenage years, is having none of it. He, who was part of the EDSA People Power in 1986, accused Yap of historical distortion, citing how activists in Maid in Malacañang's trailer were carrying torches or sulo while they're outside the palace. The trailer also showed the torch-carrying activists storming the gates, even climbing over them.
"Hindi totoo ang sulo. Ano iyon, lamay?" he said. "Puro kahunyanguhan, puro katarantaduhan."
"Hahanap lang tayo ng producer," Lamangan said regarding his intention to make a "truthful" movie about the Marcoses, noting that producers with integrity are in such short supply. "Pag pinag-uusapan po pera, napakahirap, lalo na politika ang iyong sasabihin. Maraming ayaw po, iyon ang totoo."
News5's Ed Lingao, who was at the forefront of the People Power crowd during his salad days as a beat reporter, also fact-checked such inaccuracy.
Lingao cited the account of another attendee, lawyer Wilfredo Garrido, who shared photos of the "peaceful revolution" showing people carrying no torch or any other dangerous weapon.
Yap has since defended the use of torches in his movie, saying he employed "creative freedom" as it is not a documentary meant to reflect actual events 100%—even as he said the movie is based on "one reliable source."
The trailer also showed a lady in yellow, presumed to be President Cory Aquino, telling somebody on the phone to get the Marcoses out of the Philippines.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION!!! pic.twitter.com/Auu4HGy2gc— Kris Aquino (@KrisAquinoWORLD) July 18, 2022
Kris Aquino World, the official Twitter fan page of Cory's daughter, questioned the veracity of the line by sharing an excerpt from the book People Power: An Eyewitness History.
Ex-Supreme Court Associate Justice Cecilia Muñoz Palma wrote that she was with Cory when U.S. Ambassador Stephen Bosworth called. Palma said Cory was willing to give the Marcoses at least two more days to stay in their hometown Paoay in Ilocos Norte.
"Cory's initial reaction was: 'Poor man, let us give him two days.' But we did not agree with that idea. We thought that given the chance, Marcos may regroup his forces or extend his stay indefinitely," Palma wrote. "Cory then called Ambassador Bosworth to say that she could not grant the request. Marcos should just leave the country."
"Cool as always, Cory turned to us after she put the phone down. She said simply: 'Marcos has left.' She said it as if was the most ordinary thing. We all shouted jubilantly. Cory did not."
Lamangan called on poets, writers, playwrights, and other cultural workers to open their eyes and know their duties.
"Dapat...lahat ng nasa sining...magsilbi sa interes ng ating mga mamamayan. Huwag tayong maging kasali sa nagtatakip ng katotohanan," he said.
"Ayokong dumating ang panahon na mabura ang ating mga pinaghirapan."
During Martial Law, Amnesty International data showed there were over 3,200 extrajudicial killings, 35,000 tortures, 70 “disappearances” or desaparecidos, and 70,000 imprisoned.
According to the World Bank and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the Marcoses siphoned as much as $10 billion (P521.8 billion) from the government coffers during their two-decade rule.
The Marcoses were booted out of Malacañang through People Power. But in the coming years after their exile, the Marcoses managed to claw their way back to power.
Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. was proclaimed president on June 30 after a landslide victory on May 9, with over 31 million votes. He's the first majority president since 1986, and his win marked the return of another Marcos in Malacañang nearly four decades since their family went into exile.