Days before the start of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the organizer of the annual MMFF, has refuted the accusations of the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) director-general and actress Vivian Velez claiming that the MMDA did not give them their P82 million amusement tax share.
It can be recalled that then FAP head Leo Martinez filed a case against MMDA in 2014 before a Quezon City court. Velez said that she learned about this that is why she wants it collected as FAP is one of the beneficiaries of the film festival.
MMFF head for legal Lawyer Vic Trinidad said the accusations of FAP director and actress Vivian Velez are based on unsubstantiated case filed by FAP.
The case which was filed in 2014 in the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City was archived for failure of FAP to prosecute the case, he said.
“Contrary to the claim of Ms. Velez, the issue was never raised or discussed with the management of MMFF,” said Trinidad in a statement.
“Instead of going to the press to pursue her claim she should have initiated the revival of FAP’s case so that she can prove her allegations in the proper forum,” he added.
The agency said that, under MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim’s administration, 100 percent of the Collected Amusement Taxes were released to the beneficiaries and no government fund was used in the operation of MMFF.
“For the last three years under this administration all issues hounding MMFF every year were addressed. Thus, it is disheartening to hear malicious imputations from a beneficiary whose only participation in the MMFF is to receive money which the management of MMFF including the Executive Committee worked hard for,” said Trinidad.
The MMFF 2020 will start streaming online on Christmas Day, MMDA said that this will be executed through upstream.ph. The MMDA was forced to conduct MMFF online due to the threat of the dreaded coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19.