In his capacity as president of Kapisanan Ng Mga Direktor Ng Pelikulang Pilipino (KDPP), director William Mayo wears more hats as board member of the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) and chairman of the film committee at the National Commission for Culture and Arts.
Despite the controversial bolting out of so-called more active movie directors (calling themselves Directors Guild of the Philippines-DGPI) from their original membership of the KDPP (currently headed by Mayo), the Kapisanan, which is under the umbrella of the Film Academy of the Philippines is still the one officially mandated to settle disputes, taking place in movie industry that has seen better days.
It was through the joint leadership of KDPP and FAP under director Leo Martinez with the support of the officers from the Actors Guild, Mowelfund, Film Development Council of the Philippines, Anti-Piracy Council, and Media Optical Board, which finally brought down to their knees the seemingly invulnerable corrupt-ridden tandem of Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
To recall, since the takeover of the MMDA in the administration of the annual MMFF (from the time of Chairman Bayani Fernando to Francis Tolentino) up to last year’s aborted assignment of Emerson Carlos as the new chairman, Mayo and Martinez and the rest of the members of the industry sectors have smelled corruption, big and small in proportion.
The aforesaid film organizations as legal beneficiaries of the MMFF have not been getting on record, if at all, their “fair” share from the millions of income annually raked in by the film fest including spin-off showings of films from the festival nationwide.
In 2013 at their office in Mowelfund at Rosario Drive, Cubao, Mayo and Martinez held a press conference where acting upon the official report of the Commission On Audit (COA), the anomaly due to MMFF’s failure to remit at least P200 million from the time of Fernando to Tolentino was exposed. Added to this was MMDA’s unauthorized cash advances amounting to P15, 926,053.37, which remained un-liquidated up to the present time, a clear violation of Section 89 of PD 1445.
As usual the expose for a time fell on the deaf ears of the MMFF/MMDA management, that though they could get away “murder” one film fest after another. It took two more years for COA and after the most recent investigation at Congress initiated by victims of the last MMFF brouhaha in full force with Mayo and Martinez’s newly-gathered evidence on hand to finally hammer the last nail on the head of the sick film fest to eternal rest.
As to the accrued remittances due the beneficiaries, which remained unaccounted up to this day, only heaven knows. The COA though has run after the culprits as far as naming someone giving a face behind the case of plunder in massive scale. Apparently, the buck does not stop here.
Fortunately, the investigation in Congress resulted in giving back to the movie industry sector the rightful ownership and management of the MMFF, which it once held first in 1986.
One hopes it is a step toward rehabilitating the debauched image that has come to define the MMFF under the stewardship of the MMDA. It’s one tough challenge for the KDPP under President William Mayo and the rest of the industry sectors to measure up to the highest expectations come film fest season.