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Critics Left Stunned By ‘Give Up Tomorrow’

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Tonight, October 4, 2012, Give Up Tomorrow premieres on POV (check your local listings). The documentary exposes shocking corruption within the judicial system of the Philippines in one of the most sensational trials in the country’s history. Paco Larrañaga, a 19-year-old student, is sentenced to death for rape and murder, despite overwhelming evidence of his innocence.

Read what critics are saying about Give Up Tomorrow:

“Jaw-dropping. . . . hard to turn away from. . . . a revealing, culturally specific snapshot of the Philippines emerges . . . hobbled by legacies of its colonial past and the continued strife of the present.”
— Nicholas Rapold, The New York Times

“Remarkably cogent. . . . Arousing outrage and disbelief in equal measure. . . . Docus about abuses of justice abound, but few present complicated events in so concrete, linear and compelling a fashion.”
— Ronnie Scheib, Variety

“This film has broken through the wall of audience and filmmaker in a way that will forever change how films are made. . . . The level of commitment to the narrative in Give Up Tomorrow is unchallenged. . . . tireless, unnerving . . . a deliberately paced, edge of your seat mystery/thriller . . . heroic and daring.”
— Eric Shlapack, The Examiner

“A whirlwind story. . . . An intimate family portrait and international cliffhanger that shines a light on a nation’s incomplete journey towards democracy.” “
Asian Journal

Watch Give Up Tomorrow tonight on PBS. (check local listings), or stream it online for a limited time starting Friday, October 5, 2012.

Then visit us on Twitter @povdocs, Facebook, or our companion site for Give Up Tomorrow to tell us what you thought of the film.

Keep up with all of this season’s films and get alerts when videos are available for streaming at, on Twitter @povdocs or on Facebook.

POV Staff
POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 300 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.
  • Cathy Shoemaker

    I just watched this program. I am totally shocked at the amount of corruption in the Philippines. I am so glad I grew up in the States and not the Philippines. I have always wondered what it is like in the Philippines and had planned to visit. Now, I am sickened by this injustice. The mother of the 2 missing Chiong girls should be ashamed of herself. There is no way what so ever that Paco could be guilty. They have ruined innocent lives. The whole time I was watching, I was praying for Paco. I will continue to pray. I hope to hear in the future that he is set free, as well as the others that are innocent.
    Cathy Shoemaker

  • a.girl.from.cebu

    funny how this film only shows one side of the story! i grew up in cebu… and honestly, this is not how it played.. these rich bastards thought they could buy his freedom with their money… president erap was impeached because of corruption, but president gloria arroyo was 10 times worse.. and they didnt even mention that… somehow they failed to mention that the judge died after the conviction.. “suicide”… i’m sick and tired of hearing him say he’s innocent.. maybe he was so effed up on drugs that night and he didnt remember $%^&!! they can say whatever they want to say… i’m sure deep down inside they know who is telling the truth and who isn’t.. and they don’t need any judge or supreme court to tell them that…
    — a girl from cebu

    • Anon watcher

      Sorry, but it seems to me that it was the Chiongs that were paying everyone off…The mom even ADMITTED on that documentary that she paid people off….”1 Thousand, is that a bribe?” “2 Thousand, is that a bribe?” GIVE ME A BREAK.

      Why would you give someone that ADMITTED TO KILLING YOUR KIDS presents and a cake?!?!

      This whole thing REEKS of injustice.

    • Klaw

      Hi girl from cebu, I too am from Cebu. I am so glad this film is finally made after 14 years of hearing only the side of the Chiongs and the media who say he was guilty. Any person with a single iota of intelligence can see the INNOCENCE OF PACO AND 6 OTHERS after listening to the evidence presented in this documentary which was barred during the trial.
      THIS FILM HAS FINALLY COME HOME … it is sad that personal opinions blind people from seeing the truth…. JUSTICE FOR PACO…

      • AyayayDiosMio

        You’re basing you’re judgement on the evidence presented on this film, which is produced by a brother of the brother-in-law in one of accused. OK. Cebuano sad ko.

    • CWR

      It must be sad to live in a distorted media vacuum. The evil that lives inside the Chiong family! The spineless father that murdered his daughters by getting involved with the wrong crowd. The corruption that is so transparent. The Philippines hasn’t moved far from it’s days under Marcos. I’m glad this film has exposed the farce that is Philippine politics.

  • sammi

    i watched every second in hopes that the conclusion would be freedom for all 7 accused in this program filled with injustice of the innocent, only to be left with a sickening feeling deep down inside. i pray for all of them

  • bonnmot

    I am horrified at this system of “justice.” I was waiting for Paco to be released. The entire film, I was wondering how it is that some families are just suddenly thrown into the abyss, without any hope of justice. These young men have had the best years of their lives wrenched away for doing nothing. I kept referencing One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch in my mind. Justice, NOW.

  • Outraged

    Please send these comments to the Spanish government. Surely they can do better than perpetuate this farce of justice for Paco and the others. No one can sleep as long as he is in jail. Are the Chiogs paying off someone in Spain? G-d help us!

  • Gerie

    I’m horrified at the injustice here…first in the Philippines, now in Spain. Didn’t the United Nations Human Rights inquiry state he should be released within 90 days? So that was just ignored by Spain? What injustice…Yes, I am outraged, horrified, and sickened that Paco has not been released. And the evil of the Chiogs just turns my stomach!

  • Emily

    Not only is it hard to believe that this “justice system” exists in a modern era, I am blown away by the fact that no one-not one single person-involved in this case had the conscience enough to speak the truth. I am unable to process how the Chiong parents feel, in any way, that they have done right by their daughters.

  • charlysmommy

    I cannot believe this has happend. I am shocked, saddend, and angry. What can be done to help Paco and the others clearly wrongly imprisoned for this horrific crime? How could ANYONE not see the gross injustice placed on this case by the obviously coruupt judge, former President, state’s witness and all others associated with the procecution’s case. This is a horrible injustice, and huge shame on their country. Someone please help these boys. Clearly there is so much more to the case. Thank God I am a United States citizen. May God be with all the families involved.

    • AyayayDiosMio

      I’m originally from Cebu which a small island in RP. While I don’t really know if the 7 accused are guilty, i am not really surprised by the verdict. The accused are really members of influential, powerful, wealthy families in the Philippines, it’s just so happens that the victims are also wealthy that can fight toe to toe with them. I actually live in the same town with one of the accused although i don’t know him personally, but everybody in town knows their family. You guys have really no clue who these boys are, again i’m not saying they are guilty because i don’t know. But not surprised with the verdict. Just saying.

  • Mark

    You say, thank God we live in the US. Well, open your eyes; people being prosecuted and framed for crimes they did not commit happens all the time in the US. No system is perfect and there is corruption everywhere there are people who have something to gain from it. Open your eyes and your mind. Perhaps corruption here in the US is just more underground; but it definitely exists everywhere.

  • Elizabeth Aten

    Mrs. Chiong seems like a mentally ill woman. When I watched her talk it immediately came to mind that she might have killed her daughters herself. Putting aside the corruption of the Phillippines govt. what about Spain’s Supreme Court’s decision that there was a miscarriage of justice only to turn around in the end and keep Paco imprisoned within their country?

  • Quiet Observer

    This film, powerful and thought-provoking, despite of its tragic ending, reminds each and one of us that we have an obligation to fight and standup to those who will deprive others of their human rights. So long that Paco remains imprisoned, injustices prevail, not just in the Philippines, but throughout the World. So if you saw this documentary, tell someone else to see it. PBS need to show this over and over, today… tomorrow, and tomorrow after that… until Paco’s voice gets heard… Don’t give up until that “tomorrow” comes when this film finally runs out of its very last audience. It’s a shame though that PBS will probably choose to show more of Antique Roadshow and reruns of Ed Slott’s Retirement Rescue or The Blood Sugar Solution rather than replaying this film a few more times. Nevertheless, I am still hoping that Paco will ultimately triumph over his tragic ordeals.

  • Amee

    Is there anything anyone can do today? Tomorrow?

  • Veronica

    Amazed by the film. I pray that justice comes very soon for these men wrongly accused.

  • Anonymous

    this film makes me happy that I live in United States I understand corruption is everywhere but here in the US it seems you would have more of a fight and support, expecially considering that court room what a joke…. the Philippines government or law enforcement seems like it would be the same if I were to stop at the first trailer park I see here in Texas and form a government out of the people that live there…. why did the police officers act so stupid like they were scared “I don’t remember” what kind of crap is that…. just another Latino country ran by drug lords…. I bet if we did legalize drugs a lot of this mess would clean itself up…. I know I hate me

  • angeldust83

    WTF! Now the mother who just lost two daughters in a very brutal way becomes the evil one. You guys are sick fucks! what if one of your sons, daughters, or wife gets raped, killed, and disposed like trash..let’s see if you’ll still think straight having to live such an ordeal. I WILL GO CRAZY MYSELF!!!!

    • James Dimapasok

      OK um… wait a minute did we watch the same film… this so called grieving mother gave money and food to a person that admittedly raped her 2 daughters. I dont get it, I would have killed the guy and made him pay after his testimony……..

  • angeldust83

    Blame the corrupt justice system, not the victims’ family!

  • Advoman56

    Stunned, Shocked, What else can I say. I’m not going to the Philippines ever. The judge and Mother of the 2 Daughters should be in prison for corruption along with Rusia. There is no justice anywhere.