JK Labajo leads 'Ako si Ninoy' movie cast

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 23) — Singer-actor Juan Karlos ‘JK’ Labajo is the lead star in the movie "Ako si Ninoy" helmed by Vince Tañada, who touted the film's historical accuracy.

Labajo plays the role of late Senator Ninoy Aquino, who led the opposition against then dictator President Ferdinand E. Marcos, and was assassinated upon returning home from exile in the United States. Based on the trailer released Sunday, the film will also give a glimpse of the politician’s family life and career as a young war correspondent.

Historian Xiao Chua praised Labajo's portrayal, and the singer-actor's courage in taking on the challenging role.

"Noong nakita ko si JK Labajo sa harapan ko na mag-transform bilang si Ninoy, nangilabot ako... Malaking bagay ito kasi hindi naman niya ikakayaman ito pero gagamitin niya ang hatak niya sa kabataan upang tumulong na maikuwento ang mga bagay na pinalalabo ng mga pambabaluktot," he said in a series of tweets.

[Translation: When I saw JK Labajo transform into Ninoy in front of me, I had goosebumps. This is a big deal because he won't earn a lot for this but he is using his influence over the youth to tell the truth in the story that some attempt to distort.]

Chua hinted he helped in the making of the film, which is an adaptation of a 2009 musical also written and directed by Tañada.

Another actor in the movie is Joaquin Domagoso, the son of former presidential bet and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno — who is slated to play Aquino in the upcoming film "Martyr or Murderer" helmed by controversial director Darryl Yap.

Tañada and Yap faced off in the box office last year with their martial law-themed films. Tañada's "Katips: The Movie" was re-released in August 2022 to counter the release of Yap's "Maid in Malacañang," a fiction retelling the Marcos family's last three days in Malacañan Palace, which was criticized for attempting to distort historical facts.

"Ako si Ninoy" and "Martyr or Murderer" are scheduled for release this year.