'Citizen Jake' star Atom Araullo mum on rift with director

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 26) — "Citizen Jake" star and TV news personality Atom Araullo refused to comment on the Facebook post of director Mike de Leon, who criticized his work as a journalist.

In a message sent to CNN Philippines Saturday, Araullo said, "It's best not to comment at this time, it might distract from the film."

"Citizen Jake" is currently shown in local cinemas. Araullo made his acting debut playing the role of Jake Herrera, also a journalist.

De Leon said on Thursday he realized Araullo's journalism was not exactly the kind of journalism he had in mind. "It's not the gritty kind but more of the celebrity-centered schlock that sometimes verges on entertainment, even showbiz," his Facebook post read.

"Looking back, I can see why he wanted to become a movie actor. Perhaps the journalist was really a closet movie star," he added.

The director explained he chose Araullo for the role because he mistakenly thought that a journalist would share his political convictions.

"I think Atom and I are both relieved to close the book on this collaboration and finally get out of each other's lives. What is important in the unique world of cinema is that Citizen Jake has now acquired a life of its own, separate from us," De Leon added.

The director's post was deleted Friday night.