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Defending Lapu-Lapu: Agusan Rep Fortun seeks MTRCB review of Magellan animated film

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Agusan del Norte Rep. Lawrence Fortun has urged the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) to conduct a thorough review of an upcoming animation film about the voyage of Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan.

Fortun said a careful and well-informed review of the animated movie “Elcano and Magellan: The First Voyage Around the World,” is imperative to prevent a possible bastardization of the memory and heroic legacy of Lapu-Lapu and his people who first resisted colonial rule in the Philippines.

According to Fortun, an in-depth review of the upcoming film is needed to avoid the same experience we had on the movie “Abominable.”

Abominable, rated G by the MTRCB, was initially allowed to be shown but was pulled out only after adverse public reaction about a scene that included a map featuring China’s unilaterally claimed nine-dash line.

“There are apprehensions that our cherished hero Lapu-Lapu might be depicted as a villain in this movie, and we, as Filipinos, cannot allow such a lie to be propagated right on our very own soil,” said Fortun.

Fortun stressed that the Magellan film “requires a higher level of vigilance on the part of the MTRCB” since the movie caters primarily to young audiences—who are more “vulnerable to misinformation.”

The lawmaker said MTRCB has at its disposal the power to prohibit its showing or order the removal of scenes that may be offensive to the sensibilities of the Filipino people.

“We suggest that Philippine history experts be tapped in reviewing the said movie to provide a more in-depth perspective and ensure that the movie will not dishonor Lapu-Lapu’s rightful place in our collective memory,” said Fortun.

“While we acknowledge the importance of the circumnavigation of the world to human history, may its retelling not devalue the admirable courage shown by early Filipinos in fighting for freedom and independence,” he added.

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