Philippines: Actor on live film shoot is mistaken for gunman, shot dead by village watchman

In the Philippines, a village watchman mistook an actor portraying a masked gunman for the real deal. The local lookout jumped onto his moving motorcycle and fatally shot the actor in what bystanders believed was just part of the filming. "As the director shouted 'Action!', actor Kirk Abella began to speed away on a motorcycle with a masked driver and the watchman feared he was going to escape... so he grabbed him by the shirt and shot him." (BB Submitterator, thanks batangbaler)


  1. Tintin makes a similar mistake in ‘Cigars of the Pharaoh’ – when he comes across Rastapopoulos’s film crew shooting a scene where someone is beating a women. Tintin, ever the hero, steps in and puts a stop to it, only to realize he’s just interrupted the film shoot.

  2. Before the fatal shooting, Cuizon went to the police station to tell officers about the reported presence of armed men, and was informed the gunmen may be part of the film production. An officer accompanied him to the area anyway, which was behind the police station, “to protect the film shooting … in case there really were armed men in the area,” Relado said.
    Cuizon was walking fast and reached the masked men on the motorcycle ahead of the officer, who told him the two were part of the cast.
    “I don’t know why he still accosted them,” Relado said. “Just as he reached the motorcycle, the director signaled ‘Action.’ He thought they were going to escape that’s why he grabbed (Abella) by the shirt and shot him immediately.”

    Something is not right with this guy.

    1. With all of that happening I don’t think he should get off easily. He was told several times about the film shoot yet still killed the actor, which kinda destroys any plausible deniability he had about not knowing he was an actor.

  3. As a resident of Metro Cebu, I insist on pointing out that Metro Cebu has a population of over two million people. It’s hardly a village.

  4. I reside here on “CEBU” which is an Island! the media coverage here is generally poor which is why the story is conflicting all over the place as Cebu is also a City not a village. Security guards here are generally Armed and also the Barangay captain elections have just finished (at which over 70 people were killed in political related killings). So I can understand the guards “panic” as its a heightened tension time here aswell as the fact a Gun ban is still in force which would mean anyone travelling around with firearms is likely to be carrying out assassinations for politicians (as only other people who should have arms are military/police). Can read my full article on this subject here :-
    Including the fact the killing took place at the Parian District of Cebu city NOT A VILLAGE.

  5. While Cebu isn’t a village I think it’s still fair to call this guy a village watchman. If only because shooting someone after being told twice it’s a film certainly means we should call you the village something.

      1. A news update says that the it’s-not-a-village watchman may be released because the family hasn’t filed a complaint.

        Huh. You would think that killing a guy in front of witnesses would be the equivalence of a federal offence, but appearently it´s acceptable behaviour in the Philippines as long as you have the consent of the dead guys parents? At least that seems to be the de facto effects of this particular law.

        The weirdness keeps growing.

    1. But why not simply just call the guy a guard? or what he was a Tanod as they are called locally. Generally Tanod’s aren’t armed but Guards are. Also the village reference is probably to do with idiot.

      But I will say something media generally out of the Philippines is badly written and never followed up with a full story so be warned there could still be facts to come out (if anyone bothers to investigate). I have read on another article stating the movie was about Magellan which I can’t find any reference to and obviously they weren’t running around shooting people on motorcycles back then so typically it sounds like someone has thrown a bit of misinformation into the mix for some odd reason.

    2. Kento and Anon live there. As such, they will be the individuals who get to define said location. It was a barangay which is a term that culturally implies a village, but is really meant to be thought of as a “hood” eg-BedStuy, Outer Sunset, Echo Park-you get the idea. The meaning was lost in translation. When you stick the Tagalog word “barangay” into Google’s translator it comes out “village”.

      But yeah, “mall cop” is totally apropos. I would even venture to guess, given a couple o’ centuries of some serious ass colonialism, the Philippines invented the mall cop persona.

      I say this only having spent my fair share of time in barangays. Its a trip……and how freaking cool is it that BB has so many Pinoy readers. ROCK ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. One thing to keep in mind: The story about the cops telling him that it was a film shoot may not be the truth.

    Sometimes people in trouble create a “cover story” — for example I had a friend who drove into a middle-of-the-road pit filled with new concrete in a road-repair situation. There were no warning signs when this happened, however the workers placed warning signs all around the car after the event to make it look like there was adequate warning and the driver ignored this.

    I think a possibility is that the (wealthy) film director may have paid off the policeman to tell this story, so that it would not look bad for the film director that he did not try to protect his cast.

  7. I think the worst thing in all of this is the notion that even with actual criminals, it is often more acceptable to wound or kill them than to allow their escape by withholding lethal force.

    ~D. Walker

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