MANILA, OCTOBER 22, 2011 (BULLETIN) By ANYA SANTOS- (photo: Apparently dismayed over the issues surrounding his supposed 2011 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry, “Mr. Wong,” Robin Padilla has announced that he is pulling out of the festival this year.

More, reports say that his decision was to give way to ER Ejercito’s film, “Manila Kingpin: The Untold Story of Asiong Salonga,” to join the festival.

According to a report on ABS-CBN News on Thursday, it seems that Padilla wanted to settle the controversy stemming from an earlier announcement that his team was behind schedule and they could not finish their entry in time.

It also added that this issue has resulted in a "pagtatalo ng mga magkakaibigan,” as ABS-CBN has quoted Padilla.

"Medyo sabi ko, ‘Ayaw ko ng ganito. Ayaw ko ng mga dating magkakaibigan [nag-aaway-away].’ Ayaw ko ‘non kaya ako mismo nung gabing ‘yon, dumiretso na ako kay Mother [Lily Monteverde para sabihin na huwag nang ituloy]," the report quoted him further.

The same Oct. 20 report on ABS-CBN noted that Padilla’s wife, Mariel Rodriguez, understands his decision. “Siyempre [na-disappoint si Mariel] kasi kanya ‘yung story niyan. Siya gumawa niyan, pina-screenplay lang niya," he related.

On “TV Patrol,” Oct. 20, Padilla likewise made a statement that would counter allegations that they could not finish the movie.

“Hindi magiging problema ang shooting kasi kumpleto kami eh. Si Mother Lily, si Roselle [Monteverde],” he began.

“Sa lahat po ng staff naming, sa direktor namin, humihingi kami ng paumanhin kung nagdesisyon ako na ‘wag na lang tayo sumali. Ako ang taong ayoko ng gulo eh.”

The report also said that Padilla addressed Ejercito with this message: “Basta isauli niyo ‘yung 500,000 ko [na deposit sa filmfest], ‘yun lang ‘yun.”

"Baka ma-forfeit ‘yung pera ko diyan,” he added, curiously asking Ejercito, “Eh, governor, personal kong pera ‘yun. Kaya sana, personal mo ring pera ang ibalik mo sa akin.”

Recall that on Oct. 17, an article on PEP said Ejercito announced his film’s impending inclusion in the MMFF.

"Tinawagan kasi ako ng committee ng Metro Manila Film Festival, [ibinalita] na tumawag na doon ‘yung production ni Robin Padilla, ‘yung ‘Mr. Wong’, na hindi pa sila nag-uumpisa ng shooting,” he was quoted.

Ejercito added in the same report that Padilla’s group would not be able to submit the requirements like the trailer and the teaser.

"'Tsaka ‘yung full-length movie, wala pa, hindi pa nag-uumpisa,” he told PEP. According to him, they are only waiting for a formal pullout letter from Padilla’s camp for their entry into the festival to be official. "Kasi, tapos na ‘yung film namin. We're now in post-production.”

Ejercito apparently also described this turn of event as a product of “divine intervention,” telling PEP, “Parang bumaba si Kristo at tinulungan ako!"

Meanwhile, the “TV Patrol” report on Oct. 20 noted that “Mr. Wong” would then be Padilla’s initial offering for 2012. And before the year ends, Padilla still has the ABS-CBN new offering entitled “Toda Max,” a sitcom co-starring Vhong Navarro that is set to premiere on Nov. 12.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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