NGO calls out Darryl Yap for using Hacienda Luisita farmers’ footage for ‘Martyr or Murderer’ without consent

By: Hannah Mallorca - Inquirer.net | February 26,2023 - 02:49 PM

(From left) Darryl Yap, A scene from “Sa Ngalan ng Tubo”. Images: Facebook/Darryl Yap, Facebook/Screengrab from EILER

(From left) Darryl Yap, A scene from “Sa Ngalan ng Tubo”. Images: Facebook/Darryl Yap, Facebook/Screengrab from EILER

The Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER) has accused Darryl Yap of using the footage from their documentary “Sa Ngalan ng Tubo” for the controversial filmmaker’s upcoming film “Martyr or Murderer” without its consent.

“Martyr or Murderer,” which is a sequel to the 2022 film “Maid in Malacañang,” tackles the assassination of former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.’s assassination in 1983. The first film, however, was criticized for historical distortion.

As seen in a joint statement via Facebook on Feb. 24, Friday, EILER and its allied organizations Mayday Multimedia, Tudla Productions, and Pokus Gitnang Luson Multimedia Network, accused Yap of using snippets from the 2005 documentary — which is said to focus on the plight of farmers working at Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac during a protest in 2004.

The video clip supposedly showed the decades-long struggle of sugarcane farmer-beneficiaries to own the farmlands being claimed by the Central Azucarera de Tarlac, also known as Hacienda Luisita, the estate owned by the family of Aquino’s wife, the late former President Corazon Aquino, who led the People Power revolt that toppled the Marcoses’ 20-year rule.

The nongovernment organization then called out Yap for allegedly stealing the footage of “Sa Ngalan ng Tubo,” which was used as a promotional material for the trailer of the upcoming film “Martyr or Murderer.”

“Bagama’t nasa interes ng production team at ng mga manggagawa’t magsasaka ang patuloy na pagpapalaganap ng ‘Sa Ngalan ng Tubo,’ nararapat na sa buong konteksto ito maipalaganap. Hindi lingid sa kaalaman ng mga Pilipino ang pakikibaka ng mga manggagawang bukid at magsasaka, kung kaya’t agad na nakapukaw sa damdamin ng mga manonood ang paggamit ni Darryl Yap, VIVA Films, at VinCentiments sa isang bahagi ng aming dokumentaryo bilang promotional material ng kanilang pelikulang ‘Martyr or Murderer,’” EILER said.

“Ngunit sa pagkait nila sa buong konteksto ng laban ng mga manggagawang bukid at magsasaka, nagbigay sila ng panibagong inhustisya sa anyo ng paglihis ng diskurso sa usapin ng lupa, sahod, trabaho, at karapatan,” they further stated.

EILER expressed dismay over Yap’s intention to use the footages as a way of painting the late former president Aquino and her family in a negative light and to cover up the human rights abuses that were committed during martial law.

“Nagbigay sila ng panibagong inhustisya sa anyo ng paglihis ng diskurso sa usapin ng lupa, sahod, trabaho, at karapatan. Malinaw na ginagamit lamang ng kanilang kampo ang mga kasalanan ng mga Cojuangco-Aquino sa mga biktima ng Hacienda Luisita masaker upang matabunan ang mga kasalanan ng mga Marcos noong Martial Law, at sa proseso ay kumita sa takilya,” the group said.

The NGO then urged Yap to remove all stolen footage from the trailer of his film, saying it rewrites the plight of farmers and farm workers who are still calling for land ownership rights in the sugar plantation.

“Hindi nagsakripisyo ng buhay ang mga martir ng Hacienda Luisita para lamang gamiting bala ng mga Marcos at Duterte laban sa mga Aquino at sa oposisyong tumututol sa kasalukuyang administrasyon. Sa kasalukuyan, patuloy na pinagkakaitan ng lupa ang mga magsasaka ng Hacienda Luisita sa ilalim ni Marcos Jr,” the NGO said.

“Ikinadidismaya namin ang paggamit ng piling eksena ng dokumentaryo nang walang permiso mula sa production team. Higit pa rito ay kinokundena namin ang paggamit nito para sa baluktot na panawagan ng hustisya na nagsisilbi lamang sa interes ng naghaharing-uri. Hindi ito ang layunin ng ‘Sa Ngalan ng Tubo.’ Ang tamang hakbang ay tanggalin ang promotional material kung saan ginamit ang footage ng aming dokumentaryo,” it further stated.

Yap and the production team of “Martyr or Murderer” have yet to issue a statement, as of this writing.

The controversial film stars Cesar Montano, Cristine Reyes, Ruffa Gutierrez, Diego Loyzaga, Ella Cruz, Jerome Ponce, and Giselle Sanchez, and Isko Moreno as Ninoy Aquino. EDV

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TAGS: Aquino, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, labor, Maid in Malacañang, Tarlac

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