MTRCB Keeps Eye on Live TV Shows

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines -- The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) has stepped up its monitoring of TV shows in relation to content programming, particularly live shows, Atty. Jonathan S. Presquito, MTRCB legal counsel, said.

Presquito said that MTRCB agents are always on alert to check TV shows which violate laws in regard to contents.

"In many cases, live TV shows are always monitored because simultaneous 'yan. That's why madalas natin mino-monitor sila."

In the past, the MTRCB has called the attention of several cable channels from Europe which allegedly violated content laws. He added that due process is followed in investigating similar cases.

"What we do is write them a letter and call their attention. Then we ask them to explain. Kung palagay namin may problema, that's the time we conduct hearing. But there's always due process," Presquito explained.

Presquito said that "Willing Willie" was suspended due to the network's lack of supervision, and not for anything else. He pointed out that it is not in the jurisdiction of the MTRCB to determine if the game show "Willing Willie" of ABC TV5 committed child abuse.

"The MTRCB is concerned about content. We're not after the personalities but we focus on content programming. That's why we did not discuss the allegations on child abuse. It's not for us to determine kung may child abuse case ang mga TV hosts or ang game show," Presquito said.

This developed as human rights lawyer Romeo T. Capulong has said that the right of Revillame to due process of law is being violated following the "awesome machineries deployed for a purely commercial action not involving national security or interest." "There can be no mistaking this," Capulong said.

"Mr. Revillame has been haled before no less than five different fora: the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), the Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Justice (DoJ)," said Capulong, president of the Public Interest Law Center who was elected by the United Nations General Assembly in 2001 as Judge ad litem of the International Court of Justice.

The lawyer was reacting to the recent suspension of "Willing Willie" following a macho dance routine of a young contestant last March 12.

Capulong said that Revillame's case is of interest to him because of its grave human rights implications, including the right to due process or the "right to be heard" which is being denied the television host by the government agencies which have already pre-judged him of having committed child abuse.

The lawyer said that he is troubled by the pronouncements of DSWD Secretary Corazon Soliman and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) as expressed in separate letters dated March 28 and 29 sent to the top management of ABC 5 and/or released to the public.

"In both letters, Secretary Soliman and the CHR unequivocally concluded that what happened on 'Willing Willie's' March 12, 2011 episode was a clear case of child abuse under Republic Act No. …