Bong Revilla out of Iglesia ni Cristo movie
MANILA -- Sen. Bong Revilla is no longer part of an upcoming movie on the founding and legacy of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), as the lawmaker reportedly expressed concern that his inclusion in the pork barrel scandal might affect the project.
Revilla volunteered to be removed from the film, according to a report by entertainment news site Philippine Entertainment Portal.
"Naisip niya na pag itinuloy niya yung role, baka lahat ng kontrobersiya na ipinupukol sa kanya ngayon, madawit ['yung pelikula]," the report quoted its source as saying.
"Kasi, papapelan niya 'yung pinakamataas, inisip niya, nakakahiya... na iisipin ng mga tao, 'yung gumaganap ng pinakamataas na pinuno ng Iglesia ni Cristo, maraming isyu ngayon," the source said.
"Ang Sugo (The Last Messenger)", which was announced in November last year, was set to feature Revilla as Eduardo Manalo, the executive minister of INC.
Directed by Tikoy Aguiluz and written by Arlyn dela Cruz, the film is part of the centennial anniversary celebration of INC in 2014.
It was also set to feature Richard Gomez as Felix Manalo, who founded INC in 1914; and Albert Martinez as Eraño Manalo, who took leadership of the church in the 1950s.
Revilla is one of the senators accused of having benefited from the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
Along with Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada, Revilla faces a plunder case for his alleged part in the misuse of government funds.
According to the same source cited in PEP's report, Revilla's wife, actress-politician Lani Mercado, has also backed out of the film. She was tapped to portray Eduardo Manalo's wife in the project.