After being reported to topbill a biopic of General Miguel Malvar, Sen. Manny Pacquiao is set to star in another film following his announced appearance in “Malvar” that divided the descendants of the towering First Philippine Republic figure.
“Freedom Fighters,” a movie about a World War II survivor, will focus on a community established by a group of Americans who chose to stay in the country to aide Filipino rebels led by Col. Macario Peralta Jr., who will be portrayed by Pacquiao.
Its production, which will begin in 2020, is helmed by local company Inspire Studios in partnership with a supposedly major United States studio.
Inspire Studios CEO Francis Ho in a statement to ABS-CBN News said the upcoming film will be “a global, Hollywood studio-level.”
The announcement, however, was met with criticisms from some Filipinos who questioned Pacquiao’s stint amid his duties as senator since he was elected in 2016.
“Before he (plays a) WWII hero, he must play (as) a SENATOR of the (Philippines) first,” a Twitter user commented.
“Ang daming time mag-train at lumaban sa boxing, sumali sa iba’t ibang sports, gumawa ng movie, at mag-endorse. (Paano) ang pagiging mambabatas, Manny, may time ka? ‘Di namin pansin. Attend attend din ng mga session ‘pag may time, k?” another user wrote.
Pacquiao will serve in the Senate until 2022.
Who is Macario Peralta Jr.?
Peralta was the founder and overall commander of the sixth military district of the Philippine Army or the “Free Panay Guerilla Forces” from 1942-1945.
He led the guerilla forces in Panay, Romblon, Palawan, Marinduque and portions of Masbate and Mindoro against Japanese forces.
Brigadier General Macario Peralta Jr. was the founder and overall commander of the Sixth Military District of the…
Peralta was awarded the Distinguished Service Star by the military for his exemplary leadership, competence and gallantry in action.
He was also a recipient of the US Army’s Distinguished Service Cross Medal, which is the highest distinction after the prestigious Medal of Honor.
Peralta later on became the 13th defense secretary of the Philippines under late President Diosdado Macapagal.
Pacquiao was previously criticized for appearing in another historical film that will portray the life of General Miguel Malvar, the last general of the First Philippine Republic who surrendered to the American forces.
One of Malvar’s great-grandsons, Gabriel Malvar, shared that he disapproves of the boxer-politician portraying his ancestor in “Malvar” since the latter’s “essence” might dominate the general’s character.
“My fear is that he is larger than life and his character cannot be separated from Manny Pacquiao the person. If he plays lolo Miguel, the viewers will not be able to see and appreciate my grandfather. Senator Pacquiao’s personality will dominate,” the young Malvar said.
Jose Malvar Villegas Jr, head of the production house overseeing the movie who is also the historical figure’s grandson, said that it seeks to highlight the atrocities during the Philippine-American war.
Manny Pacquiao set to star as a hero in a historical film. The film tells the story of General Miguel Malvar, the last…
Pacquiao will play the title character in the film set to hit Philippine cinemas next year.
Its producers are promising it to be the “biggest-ever film produced in the history of Philippine cinema.”
Following the criticism, some Filipinos have been calling to boycott the movie.
“We salute the hero! But we cannot allow a tax evader, two-timing politician, EJK (extrajudicial killing) enabler to portray and besmirch the good name of General Malvar!” a Twitter user wrote, referring to Pacquiao’s tax troubles in the past.
Apart from the upcoming movie, Pacquaio was also tapped as the newest ambassador of Shopee, a famous online shopping portal.
Similar to his non-political endeavors, it also gained criticisms from some of Shopee’s patrons who recalled issues the senator has been identified with.
“I’m now thinking of deleting the Shopee app on my devices because they just made Manny Pacquiao their Christmas Ambassador, a known homophobe, misogynist, philanderer, a bible-thumper who has one of the worst attendance in the Senate,” a Twitter user said.
Pacquiao was among the senators who incurred the most number of absences in the 17th Congress. He only appeared 49 times out of 61 plenary sessions.
The senator has also been criticized for his homophobic slurs that cost him to lose a lucrative endorsement deal with Nike.