Steven Sea­gal, Duterte talk drugs

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - NEWS - By Leila B. Salaver­ria

Pres­i­dent Duterte met US ac­tor Steven Sea­gal, who was in the coun­try for pre­pro­duc­tion work on a new tele­vi­sion se­ries about il­le­gal drugs, Mala­cañang said on Thurs­day.

A Mala­cañang state­ment said Mr. Duterte re­it­er­ated his stand against il­le­gal drugs and dis­cussed how the drug trade af­fected Latin Amer­i­can coun­tries dur­ing the brief meet­ing.

Drug trade and pro­duc­tion dev­as­tated many so­ci­eties in Latin Amer­ica, par­tic­u­larly Mex­ico, and the Pres­i­dent said he did not want the Philip­pines to suf­fer the same fate.

He also told the Amer­i­can ac­tor that he used to have karate lessons.

Telling Sea­gal that movies are a re­flec­tion of life, the Pres­i­dent re­it­er­ated his strong stance against il­le­gal drugs be­cause it en­slaved peo­ple to a form of syn­thetic chem­i­cal.

The war on drugs is the cen­ter­piece pro­gram of the ad­min­is­tra­tion, which has courted lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional con­tro­versy be­cause of the killings of thou­sands of sus­pects.

The tough-talk­ing Mr. Duterte had al­ready lashed out at the United Na­tions, the Euro­pean Union and the United States for their crit­i­cism of his war on drugs.

Fan of Duterte

The Palace did not say what Sea­gal said in his meet­ing with Mr. Duterte, but in an ear­lier brief­ing with en­ter­tain­ment writ­ers, he said he was a fan of the Pres­i­dent who “has been in­stru­men­tal in mak­ing the Philip­pines a safer place.”

“I don’t feel like this is a dan­ger­ous place ... I think it’s a place that’s up and coming with the new lead­er­ship,” he said.

Sea­gal said he would likely be spend­ing sev­eral months in the coun­try.

“You’ll be sick of me,” said the ac­tor, a sev­enth-dan aikido artist who has also shown in­ter­est in Filipino mar­tial arts, like kali and es­krima.

He said he had been a “blood brother for more than 40 years” of Filipino-Amer­i­can es­krima mas­ter Dan Inosanto.

New TV se­ries

Sea­gal ex­plained that the new tele­vi­sion se­ries he was mak­ing, to be called “Gen­eral Com­man­der,” would most likely take at least nine months.

He said he had vis­ited the Philip­pines close to a hun­dred times although they were unan­nounced trips, mostly in the com­pany of for­mer Ilo­cos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Sing­son, who is now a coun­cilor of Nar­va­can, Ilo­cos Sur.

Sea­gal said he kept coming back to the coun­try be­cause of “the peo­ple … Filipinos are gen­tle, kind, mu­si­cal, fun, hum­ble and have great sense of hu­mor.”

He added that he had spent most of his time in Manila, “but I have gone to Vi­gan, Bo­ra­cay and all the small is­lands with Chavit.”

For this trip, Sea­gal said he and pro­ducer Saradan Me­dia would be cast­ing for two Filipino ac­tors for roles in “Gen­eral Com­man­der.”

Be­fore the meet­ing with Sea­gal, Mr. Duterte also met with artist Fred­die Luna Cruz.

Cruz is the great grand­son of na­tional artist Juan Luna. He pre­sented a por­trait of the Pres­i­dent, which he com­pleted last year when the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive as­sumed of­fice.

Cruz was ac­com­pa­nied by Pres­i­den­tial Con­sul­tant for Ed­u­ca­tion Jose David La­puz.

—MALACAÑANGPHOTO

Pres­i­dent Duterte does his sig­na­ture pose with US ac­tor Steven Sea­gal af­ter their meet­ing in Mala­cañang.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.