Gabriela says indie actress has right 'to resist off-camera violence'

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Gabriela says indie actress Dalin Sarmiento was within her rights to demand her safety and protection while doing her job. Sarmiento alleged that director Joselito Jay Altarejos pulled her hair and punched her in the stomach.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Women's party Gabriela on Saturday (December 5) expressed its support for an indie film actress who accused a director of battering and physical abuse.

Rep. Emmi De Jesus of Gabriela said indie actress Dalin Sarmiento sought the party's assistance following her "harrowing ordeal" under director Joselito Jay Altarejos.

The alleged abuse happened during the filming of an indie movie last October.

That month, Altarejos tagged the actress as unprofessional for suggesting that the acting for scenes of domestic violence, which the film was about, be faked. He said that Sarmiento did not tell him that she had surgery three months before the filming started.

Sarmiento underwent an operation last November 2014, and was restitched on March 2015.

Her manager, GR Rodis, reposted a screengrab of the directors rant, calling it "uncouth."

ATTN: Co-actors and friends in the industry, beware.

Posted by Dalin Sarmiento on Saturday, October 10, 2015

Rodis also addressed a question to other actors: "if a director wants you to agree to be physically abused for a domestic violence film in the name of 'truth in filming' and you refuse in the name of your health and safety are you being unprofessional ?"

'Fearing for my well-being'

In a reply to the post of the director, Sarmiento said that she did not ask to fake the scene, but only for the two of them to "meet halfway."

"I was fearing for my well-being because you have hit me in the arm a couple of times (and I have pictures of my bruises), pulled my hair, and punched me in the stomach. My co-actors and your staff all saw what you did to me and they told me that they really felt sorry for me, but they could not do anything."

She added that she did not tell the director of the operation as she thought it would not matter, saying that she could still do her job as an actor.

In her post, the actress also vowed to file a criminal case against Altarejos, unless he removes his post.

Safety and protection of actors

De Jesus said that such an abuse should not be tolerated in the Philippine showbiz industry.

"We fully support Dalin Sarmiento and we admire her for coming out and standing up for her rights as an actor and as a woman."

“Dalin Sarmiento was well within her rights to resist the off-camera violence that Altarejos demanded and inflicted on her. She, as well as every single individual in the movie industry, has the right to ensure their safety and protection in the course of doing their job. We hope that Dalin Sarmiento, in coming out, will inspire more women victims of abuse to break their silence and fight back,” De Jesus added.