MMFF ExeComm withdraws FPJ Award given to 'Oro'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The executive committee of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) announced on Tuesday the withdrawal of the Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial Award given to "Oro."

The film is under criticism for alleged animal rights violation of the film crew — the basis for the committee's decision to withdraw the award.

"MMFF finds the present controversy on the alleged killing of a dog in the course of the filming of the movie effectively casts a doubt on the movie's ability to exemplify the human and cultural values espoused by the late Fernando Poe, Jr.," MMFF Spokesman Noel Ferrer said in a statment.

He added the MMFF Executive Committee consulted with the family of FPJ before taking back the recognition given last December 29.

Senator Grace Poe, daughter of the late movie icon, earlier called for MMFF organizers to look into the controversial issue.

"Artistic license does not justify the violation of our laws... Though I am not part of the jury that decided on the award, it is my responsibility to uphold the values of FPJ. He would never condone an act of animal cruelty," she said.

Poe also asked the film festival to impose applicable administrative sanctions against the makers of the film.

The MMFF Executive Committee reiterated it does not condone cruelty to animals.

The Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry, which tells the story of small-scale miners in the "Gata 4 Massacre," features the graphic scene depicting a dog being slaughtered and eaten.

"Oro" director Alvin Yapan denied they killed a dog for the movie, adding he'd never slaughter an animal to increase a film's shock value.