MANILA -- When they decided to make a film about the Marawi siege, they expected that some quarters will accuse them of being a propaganda machine for the government.
"Masakit iyon para sa akin kasi nga ni posisyon [sa gobyerno] ay hindi ako tumanggap," Robin Padilla told reporters at a press conference Saturday for his passion project, the upcoming movie, "Children of the Lake."
He was referring to his decision to not follow in the footsteps of other celebrities who were offered jobs in government after campaigning for President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016.
He did receive absolute pardon from the President months after the election but he maintained that he is a "revolutionary," adding that "ang isang rebolusyonaryo ay kailanman hindi sasama sa gobyerno dahil ang kinakalaban niya ay gobyerno."
"Children of the Lake," he explained, takes into account interviews and facts from the military, the ISIS-linked terrorists who attacked the city, and the innocents who were caught in the crossfire.
He promised to show the "truth of reality."
"Hindi ito iyong katotohanan ng military at hindi rin iyan ang katotohanan ng ISIS," he claimed. "Katotohanan ito ng realidad at iyon ang gusto kong makita ng tao."
That "reality," according to Padilla, is that a populated city was destroyed by terrorists. Their only intention, he furthered, is to prevent another tragedy of this scale from happening again.
The film stars Padilla himself, along with Piolo Pascual, Sid Lucero, Mylene Dizon, Ronnie Quizon, and Jasmine Curtis-Smith. Two of its producers are director Joyce Bernal and Pascual's Spring Films.
Bernal assured that while they are expecting help from the military with the equipment needed, training sessions, and other forms of support -- enough to call them a "major producer" -- they won't have any say in the final output of the movie.
It will be directed by Sheron Dayoc, best known for helming the Gawad Urian-winning "Women of the Weeping River."
Dayoc succinctly described "Children of the Lake" as not about who was right or wrong in the conflict, but who were "left."
It will tell the story of a hostage looking to survive the war and a military man tasked to clear the city of the terrorists.
The targeted release date is sometime in 2019. They are aiming to film "100%" of the movie in Marawi, it was explained.