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7 CHARGED IN FILM-FESTIVAL SCANDAL

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Authorities charged seven people with crimes Tuesday in connection with a film festival that named the wrong best actor and actress.

"Crime does not pay," Mayor Alfredo Lim told reporters. "No matter what position they have in society, they have to face the consequences of their acts."The bizarre saga began last Wednesday when Ruffa Gutierrez and co-star Gabby Concepcion were named Best Actress and Best Actor at the Manila Film Festival.

But the auditing firm that tabulated ballots said the real winners were actress Aiko Melendez and actor Edu Manzano.

After civilian and police inquiries, seven people - included Gutierrez and Concepcion - were charged with fraud and other crimes.

Manila theater owners agreed to remove films featuring Concepcion and Gutierrez until the case is resolved, said Manuel Nuqui, president of Philippine Motion Pictures Inc.

Nearly all figures in the scandal are foreigners and could lose work permits if convicted.