A CATHOLIC bishop of the Diocese of San Carlos in Negros Occidental called on the public to “boycott” the controversial movie “Maid in Malacañang,” which is about the family of late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

Bishop Gerardo Alminaza described the film as “shameless,” stressing that the “producer, scriptwriter, director and those promoting this movie should publicly apologize to the Carmelite nuns, to President Cory Aquino’s family and to the Filipino people.”

The movie’s executive producer is Senator Imee Marcos, while the scriptwriter and director is Darryl Yap.

A trailer of the movie, posted on the Facebook page of Senator Marcos, created a buzz online for depicting the late President Aquino playing mahjong with a group of nuns.

Sr. Mary Melanie Costillas, prioress of Carmelite Monastery in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City, said that while the nuns shown in the movie were not wearing the habits the Carmelite sisters wear, the events shown in the trailer were an “allusion” to Aquino’s encounter with them on the night of February 22, 1986.

“The nuns are not wearing our brown religious habit. But if these pictures are portraying the events of February 1986, then the allusion to the Carmelite Order in Cebu is too obvious for anyone not to see,” Costillas said in a statement Tuesday, August 2.

Aquino sought refuge at the Carmelite monastery in Cebu after the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution broke out.

Costilla said no one from the movie’s production approached them to gather information on what really happened.

She added that many of the nuns who were with Aquino at the time were still alive and actively serving the monastery, including Sr. Mary Aimee Ataviado, who was the superior at the time of the revolution.

She called the scene in the movie “malicious” and a “reprehensible attempt” to distort history.

She said the Carmelite sisters were in fact “praying, fasting and making other forms of sacrifices for peace in this country and for the people’s choice to prevail,” not playing mahjong.

But Yap, director of the film, said Tuesday, August 2, that there was nothing wrong with the recent trailer.

In a statement posted on his official Facebook page VinCentiments, Yap said the controversial scene was meant to show them just passing time and having a game between friends.

But Bishop Alminaza said Wednesday that the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), as “a quasi-judicial government agency under the Office of the President, which is responsible for the review and classification of television programs, movies and publicity materials — the national agency mandated to supervise and regulate the public exhibition of motion pictures, television programs, and publicity materials under a regulatory framework guided by the constitutional norms of respect to the dignity of the person together with utmost respect and protection for the vulnerable,” must act responsibly on the matter.

It should “perform its mandated duty,” Alminaza stressed. (LMY)