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Poe to skip House probe on ‘Honor Thy Father’ controversy

Senator Grace Poe will skip the House of Representatives’ probe on the controversy surrounding “Honor Thy Father’s” disqualification from the Metro Manila Film Festival’s Best Picture race, a lawmaker has confirmed.

House committee on Metro Manila development chair Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo said Poe has sent word that she will be unable to attend the hearing scheduled on Monday.

Poe was invited to the hearing in her capacity as a member of the MMFF executive committee.

Actor John Lloyd Cruz, one of “Honor Thy Father’s” stars and a co-executive producer of the film, has not yet confirmed if he will be present at the hearing.

Despite these developments, the lawmaker said the House probe will continue.

“The hearing will push through as scheduled,” Castelo said Sunday.

A congressional inquiry into “Honor Thy Father’s” exclusion as a Best Picture nominee in the MMFF was set after Laguna Rep. Dan Fernandez filed a resolution asking Congress to probe the incident, which stemmed from the movie’s producers’ supposed failure to inform the MMFF Executive Committee that it will be screened in another film festival.

The MMFF’s decision to exclude “Honor Thy Father” from the Best Picture race became controversial because the film’s producers were only informed about it in a letter sent less than a day before the Awards Night on Dec. 27.

Monday’s hearing on the controversies surrounding the MMFF is expected to be a star-studded affair, with the following personalities confirming their attendance: renowned film producers Lily Monteverde and Marichu Maceda, Film Academy of the Philippines president Leo Martinez, Metro Manila Development Authority chairman and MMFF Executive Committee overall chairman Emerson Carlos, and Actors’ Guild president Rez Cortez.

The producers of the MMFF entries “My Bebe Love,” “Beauty and the Bestie” and “Nilalang” will also be at the hearing, Castelo confirmed.

Aside from investigating the controversy surrounding "Honor Thy Father,” the House panel will also look into reports on the alleged modus involving the swapping of tickets for the movies “My Bebe Love” and “Beauty and the Bestie."

Some netizens have claimed that certain cinemas have been issuing tickets for “Beauty and the Bestie” for screenings of “My Bebe Love” starring Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza. — Xianne Arcangel/BM, GMA News