Latest Stories

Filmmaker returns trophy to protest ‘injustice’


FILMMAKER Marty Syjuco at the Board of Pardons and Parole office in Quezon City. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

You can have it back.

That’s what  filmmaker Marty Syjuco told the Board of Pardons and Parole  yesterday (Friday) when he returned the Ani ng Dangal trophy  for his documentary  “Give Up Tomorrow,”  in protest  against  the body’s decision to deny clemency to  the subject of his film.

Last week, the board denied the petition for pardon of Francisco Juan “Paco” Larrañaga, who is now serving a life sentence in a Spanish prison  for the 1997 rape and murder  of sisters Marijoy and Jacqueline Chiong in Cebu City.

Six other accused are detained at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.

Larrañaga, a citizen of the Philippines and Spain, along with six other c-oaccused, was sentenced in 2004 by a Cebu regional trial court to die by lethal injection but was spared with the abolition of the death penalty.

Syjuco arrived at the board’s office to return the trophy personally to chair Natividad Dizon and the members of the board.

But none of the officials, whom employees of the agency said only came to the office to attend scheduled board meetings, was there to accept the award and copies of the documentary Syjuco wanted them to view.

‘Symbol of honor’

“This award is a symbol of honor,” he told reporters. “They gave it to me because the government said my film has brought honor to the country. The Board of Pardons and Parole recently denied Paco’s petition for pardon so I cannot in all good conscience keep this award.”

Syjuco, whose brother is married to Larrañaga’s sister, added, “The  government presented it to us  for bringing honor to the country and yet they do the most dishonorable thing by continuing to perpetuate injustice.”

The filmmaker described his   documentary as a labor of love which took him seven years to make. “I made it because I wanted to show that this injustice happened in front of our eyes. Nobody was aware of it.”

Added Syjuco: “I did my own investigation. I spoke to over 42 witnesses. All of them said they were with Paco in Manila and in Quezon City while the alleged crime was happening in Cebu. How could he have been in two places at one time?”

He expressed hope that the members of the board could watch his documentary and reconsider their decision.

“The Ani ng Dangal award was meant to represent honor and that is why I am bringing it to the board because I want them to do the honorable thing,” he added.

Administrative officer Purita Adagio received the award on behalf of the board’s officials.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Board of Pardons and Parole , Entertainment , Francisco Juan “Paco” Larrañaga , Marty Syjuco , Metro

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. US teacher fired over comment on black president
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. Filipinos, Dane re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  4. Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  5. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Massive infra spending set
  8. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  9. Easter crucifixions draw huge crowds
  10. Korea ferry captain arrested, divers spot bodies
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Pope sends condolences for S.Korea ferry victims
  • Drone kills 15 ‘Qaeda,’ 3 civilians in Yemen – security
  • Palace expects Gigi Reyes to tell all on pork scam
  • MH370 search at ‘critical juncture’–Malaysia
  • 16 workers in Batangas sugar cane factory hurt over toxic chemical shower
  • Sports

  • MLB pitcher donates $100,000 for Sewol ferry victims
  • Hamilton takes pole at Chinese Grand Prix
  • Duke’s Rodney Hood joining Jabari Parker in NBA draft
  • Phelps entered in 3 events at comeback meet
  • Boston prepares for huge wave of marathon visitors
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • Fiat-Chrysler to produce iconic Jeep in China from 2015
  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • 5 Filipinos with MERS in UAE reported in stable condition
  • PH boosts MERS monitoring after UAE nurse scare
  • Canadians back PH plea to take back waste
  • We treasure our Sierra Madre
  • OFW from UAE tests negative for MERS-Cov–health chief
  • Marketplace