Aquino Requested Shooting of Bourne Legacy in Recto to Deter Protesters Going to Malacañang

MANILA, Philippines — The courtesy call made by Hollywood actor Jeremy Renner and the production team of The Bourne Legacy, to President Benigno Aquino III at Malacañang the other day had a different and somewhat scheming agenda, according to our source.

The 40-year-old actor arrived in Manila last month to film the latest installment in the popular “Bourne” series.

Renner was sporting the Filipino national costume, Barong Tagalog, and pairing it with fatigue cargo pants when he met with President Aquino in a courtesy call in Malacañang.

…The visitors gave the President DVD copies of the Bourne series (The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum), as well movies starring Renner, “The Town” and “The Hurt Locker.” (from ABS-CBN News)

The President immediately gave the DVDs to Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Ronaldo Llamas and told him “Don’t buy pirated DVDs from now on,” referring to the fiasco the adviser caused a month ago. Renner was seen lifting his fist jokingly to Llamas as a way to intimidate him.

After a brief chit chat and photo-ops, the President along with Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr. and Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Francisco Tolentino, invited Renner, as well as film producer Patrick Crowley, production manager Daniel Stillman, and local producer Jun Juban to a closed door meeting and not allowing the media inside.

According to a Malacañang insider who works for Ochoa, Aquino requested to the production team if they could shoot some scenes in and around Recto, so as to deter protesters from gathering near Mendiola, after the government received reports that Corona supporters will stage a protest to be held at the gates of Malacañang on the 26th Anniversary of the EDSA People’s Power Revolution.

Stillman made a few phone calls, reviewed the script from his iPad, and consulted with Crowley regarding the request of the President. After a few minutes of deliberation, Stillman agreed and Aquino reportedly gave a sigh of relief. Tolentino was seen immediately talking to his subordinates on the phone, to inform them of the recent developments. Both parties exited the room with all smiles to the delight, and curiosity of the media waiting outside, wondering what went on inside.

Malacañang during PGMA administration. (Image from Mong Palatino)

Getting a Hollywood production to shoot scenes near the protest area would dissuade the Corona supporters from their original plan, and instead eagerly awaits Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz to finish jumping around the roofs of buses to get an autograph. This would be a much clever and creative way of “blocking” the entry to the Palace in comparison to road blocks laced with barbed wires that then President Gloria Macapagal – Arroyo  used.

The MMDA then announced the shooting schedules for the weekend of February 25, 2012  after a few days. “Expect HEAVY TRAFFIC. Sorry for the inconvenience,” said the announcement by the MMDA.

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