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Saturday, April 09, 2011

Willie Revillame denied due process at MTRCB

THE lawyers of Willie Revillame and WilProductions, co-producers of Willing Willie, yesterday accused the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board of denying the popular TV host due process.

In a statement, Revillame’s counsels and WilProductions said that during Thursday’s hearing on the Willing Willie/Revillame ‘child abuse’ case before the MTRCB Hearing and Adjudication Committee, they asked that their clients be made parties to the proceedings.

However, the MTRCB refused, saying the proposed parties were not registered with the Board. The hearing pushed through against TV5 which was represented by ACCRA Law.

“Revillame and WilProductions should have been allowed to intervene as they are indispensable parties in the investigation. Any action by the MTRCB in this case would directly affect Revillame and WilProductions. The committee would not be able to render a fair and complete investigation without hearing Revillame’s and Wilproductions’ side. The right to be heard in administrative proceedings is a rudimentary principle and should not be brushed aside on technical grounds,” said Revillame’s lawyer, Atty. Leonard De Vera.

De Vera added that if the MTRCB had granted their request, they would have presented evidence that the video uploaded on YouTube and Facebook were spliced in an attempt to portray child abuse and to shed a bad light on Revillame as well as the well-loved show, Willing Willie. “The YouTube and Facebook videos were edited to make it appear that Jan Jan cried throughout his performance, as if he was forced to perform and that Revillame humiliated Jan Jan. However, a viewing of the entire segment would easily dispel that notion,” he stressed.

Revillame’s counsel said that the Jan Jan’s segment, if viewed in its entirety, would show that the boy started to cry after giving an emotional message to his parents, Joe and Diana Suan, as well as aunt, Jocelyn S. Santiago.

Santiago was in the audience and cried after hugging Revillame. Jan Jan also shed tears because he swiftly lost in the game portion of the segment. He was also seen emoting while dancing.

De Vera emphasized that the full version of the video reveals that Jan Jan was not forced to dance by Revillame. The lawyer added that Revillame even thought that Jan Jan was going to sing, and asked the boy who his favorite singer was.

The rest of the statement reads:

“There was also nothing obscene in Jan Jan’s performance because the dance type that Jan Jan emulated was part of a dance form called “body wave.” Jan Jan’s dance was not suggestive and did not excite lustful thoughts. In fact, the said dance had become part of Filipino culture. In many Filipino homes, children dance this way during family gatherings to impress their parents and relatives.

There was likewise nothing wrong with Revillame’s commentary during and after Jan Jan’s performance. It was Revillame’s artistic way of hosting, which appealed to viewers of the show.

Revillame’s spiels, as a comedic host, are dictated by the crowd’s response to a performance. It is Willie’s talent to interact and respond to the audience -- to make the most out of hilarious situations and to empathize to sincere emotions. Revillame evokes sincere and heart-felt emotions from his viewers at one moment and quickly turns it into a light comedic atmosphere. Not all individuals are gifted with such talent. It is Willie’s artistic expression, which is protected by no less than the Bill of Rights, which provide that “[n]o law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression xxx.”

Clearly, to restrain Revillame from expressing his comic timing and interacting with the audience to elicit honest emotions (either empathy or laughter) constitutes prior restraint or censorship, which violates Willie’s freedom of expression.

On even date, the members of the committee voluntarily inhibited themselves from the investigation after issues were raised as regards their impartiality given their close links to a rival network. MTRCB Chairperson Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares accepted the voluntary inhibition of the members of the committee but has yet to designate a new committee to continue the investigation.”



Anonymous Anonymous said...

why don't u just quit willie, that's it

4:46 AM  

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