Former PH police chief’s biopic to get tax incentive amid calls for boycott

Photo: Screenshot from Bato, The General Ronald dela Rosa Story’s trailer
Photo: Screenshot from Bato, The General Ronald dela Rosa Story’s trailer

Bato: The Gen. Ronald dela Rosa Story, a biopic about the former Philippine police chief who led the country’s infamous war on drugs, may be problematic but the country’s Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB) apparently thought it was worthy of a “B” grading, according to the Film Development Council of the Philippines’ (FDCP) announcement yesterday.

The film ‘Bato: The Gen. Ronald Dela Rosa Story ‘ is graded B by the Cinema Evaluation Board. This biopic is showing on…

Posted by Film Development Council of the Philippines on Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The FDCP is a government office that established the CEB as required by Republic Act 9167. The CEB provides incentives to producers if they believe that the movie has artistic and technical merits.

Getting a “B” grade means that a producer is bound to receive 65 percent of the amusement tax that is included in the cost of each ticket bought by the public. The remaining 35 percent will go to the FDCP.

Unsurprisingly, netizens were not thrilled that a movie about a controversial political figure running for Senate in May was going to be awarded with such perks.

In fact, artists and concerned citizens have been calling on the public to boycott the movie even before the grading was released.

The film is based on the life of former police chief Ronald “Bato (Rock)” dela Rosa and is basically an extra long campaign ad.

The Commission on Elections earlier warned dela Rosa that the film can’t be shown during the campaign period that starts on Feb. 12 as this is a violation that could disqualify him from the senate race.

The clamor to boycott the movie became so serious that the film’s lead actor, Duterte supporter Robin Padilla, called the movie’s critics “narrow-minded” and “shallow,” reported The Philippine Daily Inquirer. 

But that hasn’t ruffled the film’s critics, who continue to make fun of the film in the comments section of the FDCP’s post.

Cecilia Ochoa wrote: “B as in basura (“trash)? Or B as in boycott?”

Photo: Film Development Council of the Philippines' Facebook account
Photo: Film Development Council of the Philippines’ Facebook account

Another netizen said “B” stands for “bullsh*t.”

Photo: Film Development Council of the Philippines' Facebook account
Photo: Film Development Council of the Philippines’ Facebook account

Sophia Cadiz couldn’t understand the necessity of producing the biopic. “Is he dead [for producers] to make a biopic? More so, how important is he?”

Photo: Film Development Council of the Philippines' Facebook account
Photo: Film Development Council of the Philippines’ Facebook account

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