A descendant of General Miguel Malvar expressed his opposition to Manny Pacquiao portraying the Filipino war hero in a biopic.
Gabriel Malvar, director and great-grandson of General Malvar, said in a statement that he thought it was fake news when he first heard of the casting of the boxing champ.
He emphasized that the direct descendants of the Filipino general were not consulted about the movie and casting choices. Gabriel said a relative “unilaterally decided” on the agreement with outside parties and it caught them by surprise.
“Had I been consulted, I would have said that I preferred someone not involved in politics or in public service to portray him,” he said referring to Pacquiao starring as his great-grandfather.
He added: “Politics was no longer for him (General Malvar). I do not think he would have preferred to have his name associated with anyone in politics. I would like his name and legacy totally apart from the political milieu.”
In his statement released on his personal Facebook account, he admitted his post was not a “knock” to the senator. Manny Pacquaio is an icon and a global brand, according to Gabriel. He fears the boxer-turned-senator is larger than life that his character would not be separated from 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,” he explained.
Miguel ended his statement emphasizing he has nothing to do with the film.
Producers defend casting
The grandson of the General Malvar, Atty. Jose Malvar Villegas Jr., meanwhile, defended their decision in casting the senator. He said it already received “overwhelming” acceptance from the public.
Villegas heads the JMV Film Production, the producers of the General Malvar film.
“We are calling on whomsoever are the critics of the choice of Sen. Pacquiao as Gen. Malvar to, instead of their bickerings brought about by their political agenda, unite for the sake of correcting our history and exposing the abuses of our former colonial masters that have plundered the Philippines for many centuries, and which we can now expose to the world,” he said.
The film, directed by Jose “Kaka” Balagtas began its production on October 12 and is set for release next year.