Bong Revilla Backs Out Of Iglesia Ni Cristo FilmSenator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. has backed out of the centennial film being made by the church Iglesia ni Cristo (INC).
The move is prompted, according to a report from entertainment site Philippine Entertainment Portal, by Revilla being implicated in the latest and still hot Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) controversy otherwise known as the “Pork Barrel Scam”.
According to the source which PEP described as “reliable” and is from “the senator’s camp,” Revilla withdrew from the film on his own volition because he is worried the current issue with the alleged misuse of the discretionary fund will taint the film. Furthermore, Revilla’s wife, Lani Mercado, has also apparently backed out of the film.
Revilla along with senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada is facing a plunder case for their alleged part in the P10-billion “Pork Barrel Scam”.
“He thought that if he went through with his role, the film may also be implicated in all the controversy he is currently facing,” the source said, PEP quotes.
“He will play the lead role, so he thought, it’s embarrassing…that the actor playing the role of the leader of INC (Church of Christ) has numerous issues hanging above his head,” he said.
The Iglesia ni Cristo film - titled “Ang Huling Sugo (The Last Messenger)” - will be made to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the church which will happen next year. In the original plan, Revilla was supposed to play the role of Eduardo Manalo, the current executive minister of the INC.
“Ang Huling Sugo” is directed by Tikoy Aguiluz, written by Arlyn dela Cruz, and will also feature actors Richard Gomez as Felix Manalo, the minister who founded INC in 1914, and Albert Martinez as Eraño Manalo, the second executive minister of the INC.
According to PEP’s source, Revilla, in a meeting with staff members who are also INC members, said, “Baka mag-backout na lang ako. Pero kung gusto pa rin nila akong manatili, sige, itutuloy ko. Pero nahihiya ako na baka mamaya ay mapulaan ang Iglesia.”
Dela Cruz, who is also the executive producer of the film, told PEP, “Senator Revilla helped us a lot in the pre-production stage of the movie. He did not hesitate in lending his expertise in helping us in the preparation. We are grateful.”
She also did not reveal who will replace Revilla in the film opting only to say that an actor with the same stature as Revilla in the entertainment industry will take his role.
“Veteran actors are considered for the role and as formidable as the senator’s stature in the Philippine movie industry,” dela Cruz said.