Statement of Undersecretary Manuel L. Quezon III:
On National Geographic’s Inside Malacañang
[Released on March 21, 2012]
Last night, National Geographic issued a statement on the airing of an earlier, and not final, version of its documentary, Inside Malacañang, last Sunday. As pointed out by the statement, what took place was the airing of the wrong version of the documentary. This had been communicated on March 19 by Jude Turcuato, Vice President/Territory Head for Philippines of Fox International Channels/National Geographic Channel.
On February 28, a special advance screening was held in Malacañan Palace, and the President and members of his family pointed out that the voice-over concerning heretofore unaired video of the late President Corazon C. Aquino crossing the Pasig River at the height of the 1989 coup attempt, should be rectified.
The producer/director of the documentary, Marnie Manicad, immediately pledged to attend to the necessary revisions, and contacted National Geographic teams in the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Washington, D.C. By March 1, under the able direction of Ms. Manicad, the final voice over had been corrected, and the final copy, with corrections included, sent to Hong Kong. The changes were in fact confirmed in writing by Mr. Turcuato on March 2. Ms. Manicad and her team even held an additional screening of the documentary on March 15, showing how the change had been made.
Mr. Turcuato wrote on March 19 that “the narration reverted and was reset to the original version when the Thai audio was inserted and our operations team was not able to catch it.” This is why the March 18 version turned out to be an earlier, and not the final, cut of the documentary.
I would like to commend National Geographic—whether in Manila, Hong Kong, or Washington, D.C.—for handling the whole matter with candor, and in a cooperative spirit, to promptly rectify the situation. Starting today, viewers will be seeing this remarkable documentary fully as it was intended to air.
Director-producer Marnie Manicad and her team commendably accomplished a remarkable feat after two years of hard work. She also attended to correcting the voice over with efficiency, thoroughness, and good cheer. A truly outstanding demonstration of world-class professionalism, deserving of the highest praise.