'Attempt to distort history': Carmelite sisters slam mahjong scene in 'Maid in Malacañang'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 2)— The Carmelites Monastery in Cebu has slammed the portrayal of nuns in "Maid in Malacañang," describing a scene in the movie as "malicious" and an "attempt to distort history."

In a statement on Tuesday, Prioress Sr. Mary Costillas reacted to a part of the film that showed nuns playing mahjong with former President Corazon Aquino when she sought refuge at the monastery during the 1986 EDSA People Power revolution.

Screenshots of the scene from the movie's trailer went viral overnight.

"The attempt to distort history is reprehensible," Costillas said. "Depicting the nuns as playing mahjong with Cory Aquino is malicious. It would suggest that while the fate of the country was in peril, we could afford to leisurely play games."

"The truth was that we were then praying, fasting, and making other forms of sacrifices for peace in this country and for the people's choice to prevail," she added.

The Carmelite sisters also argued that no one from the production team went to the monastery to gather information on what transpired at that time.

"Any serious scriptwriter or movie director could have shown such elementary diligence before making such movie," Costillas said.

The film's camp has yet to comment on the matter as of publishing.

"Maid in Malacañang" narrates the last few days in power of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos back in 1986. Netizens have criticized the movie for allegedly revising history and spreading propaganda.

Free tickets?

The controversial film also hogged the limelight in the past few days following reports that "free tickets" have supposedly been distributed to schools and offices.

The Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII) over the weekend admitted that it "purchased and shared" tickets of the movie, but noted that it was for a good cause.

"On the issue of the tickets to the movie, [w]e purchased and shared the purchased tickets because a significant part of the proceeds will be used for charity projects, particularly, feeding the poor under the Nutribun Feeding Program," the FFCCCI said.

The business organization stressed that it has "no intention to engage in any partisan political activities."

Cebu-based stringer Dale Israel contributed to this report.