May 4, 2011
MTRCB bans for one month showing of Willing Willie for running counter to Pinoy values


Philippine censors yesterday slapped a month-long ban on a wildly popular television show amid public uproar over a program in which a six-year-old was cajoled into simulating a striptease.

The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) concluded the March 12 episode of Willing Willie violated a law against immoral and indecent broadcasts that run counter to Filipino values.

“Celebrities and TV personalities should exercise the highest degree of care and diligence as they are the most (frequently) seen and their reach and influence is far greater than any other individual,” the ruling read.

“It is the responsibility of the network and their talents to educate themselves regarding gender sensitivity, children and women’s rights issues… and (how to treat) other marginalized sectors of society.”

The episode involving the child went viral on the Internet and triggered a public furor in the conservative Catholic country as well as calls for local television stations to raise the standards of their programs.

The show, which is especially popular with the poor due to offering huge prizes that include cash, houses and vehicles, was subsequently taken off the air after advertisers pulled out and the network apologized.

The presenter, Willie Revillame, and his producers insisted they did not mean to humiliate the boy nor to offend public sensibilities.

Neither Revillame nor his lawyers were available to comment yesterday. His production company told AFP it expected to comment on the ruling later.

The 50-year-old star, one of the country’s biggest taxpayers, is separately being investigated by the Justice department for possible child abuse violations over the same episode.

He could be jailed for six years if he is convicted. AFP

May 4, 2011
‘Willing Willie’ back May 9 MTRCB suspension credits off-air days



The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) imposed a one-month suspension on the TV show “Willing Willie” over its controversial March 12 episode where a six-year-old boy gyrated like a macho dancer for which he got P10,000.

But counting the airing days since April 11 when the show voluntarily went off the air, the suspension order will be lifted on May 8 (Sunday).

MTRCB said the show can resume regular programming the next day, May 9.

The MTRCB board found the Associated Broadcasting Company (TV5), Ramon del Rosario, head of TV5’s Airtime Management and Wil Productions Inc. guilty of violating a presidential decree that penalizes TV programs showing “immorality, indecency, contrary to law or good customs, and injurious” to the nation.

"… For violating Section 3 (c) of Presidential Decree 1986, the MTRCB imposed the penalty of one (1) month suspension on the show," the board said.

The board said it took into consideration the formal apology made by the TV network’s executive vice-president and CCO, Roberto Barreiro.

According to the board, the management of the TV show failed to exercise self-regulation in a “lengthened scene” showing Jan-jan Suan gyrating like a macho dancer.

The decision also placed “Willing Willie” on probation or on a “per broadcast” permit status.

The board said MTRCB agents will be assigned to monitor the show daily to ensure that the regulatory measures formulated by TV5 are being implemented.

The monitoring agents will then submit a weekly report to MTRCB’s chief legal counsel.

Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman said the agency welcomed the MTRCB’s decision.

Soliman said the order would strengthen the effort to review and tighten existing guidelines for children appearing on TV as talents or contestants.

"However, the (MTRCB) decision will not stop us from pursuing the (child abuse) case we filed against Mr. (Willie) Revillame," she said.

Revillame’s lawyer, Leonard de Vera, said they would take a legal step to seek a reconsideration of the order.

Revillame is facing separate child abuse complaints as a result of the “Willing Willie” episode filed by the child and women rights advocate group Stop Child Rights Exploitation in Media (SCREAM), the DSWD, and other individuals.

May 3, 2011
How ‘Jan-Jan’ woke up local TV industry

By Bayani San Diego Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 18:53:00 05/01/2011

MANILA, Philippines—In the past few weeks, the TV landscape has been rocked by the aftershocks of a scandal that erupted after Jan-Jan, a 6-year-old boy, performed what was described as a “macho dance” in the TV5 game show “Willing Willie.”

ABS-CBN has also been criticized because of little girls who performed a “sexy” number in “Showtime” and child stars who are portrayed in adult situations in “Going Bulilit.”

“In a way, the Jan-Jan incident in ‘Willing Willie’ was a wake-up call for the entire broadcasting industry,” ABS-CBN Network ombudsman Jose Vitug told Inquirer Entertainment.

As lawsuits and probes commenced from all sides, the Kapamilya network buckled down to work, drafting its own Child Protection Handbook.

“ABS-CBN has always been sensitive to the special requirements of children,” said Vitug, a retired Supreme Court justice. “The recent controversy merely highlighted the need for reiteration and elaboration of those guidelines.”

Vitug said the current draft of the Child Protection Handbook includes “comprehensive discussions on the network’s commitment to child welfare.”

It contains the network’s standards and definition of terms (like “child labor” and “normal development of a child”), Vitug explained.

The handbook was written in light of child-labor prohibitions as mandated by relevant laws he added.

Republic Act 9231, he pointed out, seeks to “eliminate the worst forms of child labor” and RA 7610 aims “to protect children against abuse, exploitation and discrimination.” The Department of Labor and Employment Direct Order 65-04 contains the implementing rules and regulations on the two laws.

Ethical code

Vitug said the network is a signatory to the 2007 Broadcast Code formulated by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP).

As a KBP member, ABS-CBN adheres to the code, which “reminds TV networks that children should not be required, coerced or bribed to narrate traumatic experiences on shows … that they should not be ridiculed, diminished or demeaned, and camera angles shouldn’t be used to create indecent and inappropriate images.”

Bong Osorio, head of the network’s corporate communications, told the Inquirer that the first draft of the handbook is being reviewed by the ombudsman. “The process of finalization should take no more than a couple of weeks,” he said.

Reacting to criticisms that the network had received because of “Showtime” and “Going Bulilit,” Vitug said: “Regardless of the show, the Office of the Network Ombudsman feels strongly that children should be treated with care, respect and dignity. They shouldn’t be subjected to exploitation, embarrassment, harassment or humiliation in whatever manner.”

Osorio said ABS-CBN will participate in the industry-wide summit being planned by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board to discuss pertinent issues. “We will contribute our share to this effort.”

The network also set up the Call Monitoring System, an instant feedback-mechanism meant to entertain complaints from viewers.

“Anyone can call our trunk line, 415-2272, anytime. Phone agents will answer calls and take down feedback from viewers 24-7. These comments are then forwarded to the show’s production staff,” Osorio said.

April 29, 2011
TV, Willing Willie, the public sphere

Commentary — By Melinda Quintos De Jesus

The controversy hounding the television show Willing Willie does not begin and end with the boy, Janjan, and his tearful macho dancing. If we focused only on the episode, we would miss the lesson we need to learn about media and its role in society.

The courts are now in the picture, and there are few quicker ways to quash discussion and debate in this country. TV5’s president and CEO announced that the company will file libel cases against critics of the network and the show’s host, Willie Revillame. The parents of the boy sued the psychologist who reportedly stated that his dancing on the show resulted in his abuse. I doubt whether the courts can put an end to the contradictory claims about child abuse, but the decision on this would not necessarily resolve the larger questions.

Whatever moves to silence criticism, the public should not shirk from grappling with the profoundly difficult problem that Philippine television has become, nor from continuing the public exchange which could help us all to review how television shapes our public sphere — that realm in time or space which serves metaphorically as the public square, the plaza if you will, where we have traditionally taken our shared concerns so we can talk about it, hearing out the arguments and counter arguments about what we are to do when confronted with difficult issues affecting all.

But this show is entertainment. It does not fall under journalistic review. It does not take up public issues. It is about having fun and getting free money.

The questions raised have to do with the role that television plays in society. And television combines both journalism and entertainment in the same medium, albeit in separate segments. Unfortunately, what happens in one part of the programmatic spectrum affects all other aspects with total impact.

Television in countries where commercial advertising determines what stays on the air has muddled the line between entertainment and news and public affairs. The result is a public sphere where it is difficult to have coherent conversation.

There are harsh critics who have early on charged television with the decline of intelligence. These refer to the wasteland created by mass media where the lowlife can be king or queen. Mass media cater to that audience at the bottom of the pyramid. Its offerings are designed for popular appeal, but in effect target the least common denominator. It is like feeding one kind of food, the easiest to digest, yes, baby food, to adults with teeth.

If we had all been more alive to our responsibilities as an audience then we would have noticed the wholesale surrender of the public sphere to the so-called demands of the mass audience — so-called, because really, no one in the mass audience actually demands anything from television. Often, it is just that box that is turned on mindlessly, operating on autopilot to provide sights and sounds to fill vacuum and emptiness.

Only a few will ever take the time to question what is being offered. Those who have better ways of spending their time, tune out. Those who have nothing better to do, keep it on, to be engaged, perhaps, or entertained momentarily.

In this country, television is free. Media rely on advertising. Except for cable channels, network television needs those commercials. We surrendered network programming to the executives who watch the bottom line and to advertisers who want to sell their products to as many who will tune in. We have not had too many critics point to the weaknesses and lapses, the sameness and lack of alternatives in television programming, in a time when television has grown so much that it has become the main source of news and information in this country.

It has taken this shameful incident to stir the public to react.

Angry criticism rocked the public square in cyberspace, with so many people deeply offended by the sight of a young boy, barely 10, miming sexual moves.

The audience applauded on cue, the relative was overjoyed at being called onstage, getting to hug a celebrity host for a quick 3,000 pesos, and then to take home more cash for the boy’s performance. Government and religious officials, artists, experts, and civil society leaders have voiced what has been a long-standing disgust over not just this show but also the general model of many daytime shows, the banality of which has long been accepted as a standard for winning mass audiences.

TV Times, a weekly television magazine, which I edited in the seventies, featured critical articles to accompany the guides for TV programs and the notes of the week’s highlights.

Even then, we noted how the dynamic medium was set back by the dependence on advertising revenues and the insistence of advertisers on the sole criterion, ratings.

Ratings measured the viewers of the program, and the monitoring of these audiences has become a thriving separate industry.

The dependence on this measurement, above all else, has kept programming fixed on the level presumed to appeal to the many. With no other objective than to get as many people registered for viewership, television programming necessarily declines.

Unless networks and advertisers themselves decide to provide an alternative, to provide as in a diet, a better menu, this state of affairs will remain.

All the other questions about the abuse of the child and his rights may be resolved. But it will not address the central question: How badly or how low do we allow television to take the mass audience?

We know now how low things can get. WW, like its predecessor in ABS-CBN, Wowowee, succeeded in the ratings because it was giving away money, not as a prize for winning a game or talent show, but just by being there, for doing nothing. A few are asked to enter into whatever silly activities have been cooked up for the day.

It started with expat workers and foreign guests giving money to members of the audience on camera, all from good intention of sharing their largesse with the poor.

The show packaged the doling out of money with the host now giving away what the audience presumes as his money.

And the audience continued to grow. In a poor country, getting into the show is a chance at winning daily lotto. Advertising followed him and the insulting concept from one channel to another. How dumb can that be?

The “dumbing down” of network television audiences goes on even in the non-entertainment programs. News shows no longer have one segment for news about entertainment and show business. These splice entertainment fillers into a news program, like a clubhouse sandwich. News production has taken on the zing and punch of shows designed more to keep children’s attention.

A critic of television news coined the word “info-tainment,” describing how the news product also had to be entertaining.

The spectrum of TV offerings demonstrates the media dynamics which employs factors involved in popular appeal (pretty faces, attractive sets, zingers) which also affects the choice of how much and what kind of news and information gets into the program. The stream of sound, images, words, and gestures all contribute to the making of news as entertainment and entertainment as news.

Channel 5, in an attempt to lead WW’s audience for their news show, placed the news program at an earlier slot, a move to cut down the news audience of other channels. But the effect could be a general reduction of the news audience. Another huge dumbing down.

Television, more than any other media, determines the character of our public forums and the level of engagement in the public square. We draw from television an understanding of ourselves, our aspirations, our desires and preferences, our ideas and insights — or the lack of these. There was a time when the word press referred to all media, because at its earliest history, all publications were about ideas. In the progressive cycle of everything that matters, we could have also tried to inform television with ideas and insights.

But this could not happen in a system that is designed mainly for business profit. And television business is big business. For television to serve the higher purpose of education and learning, of upliftment and genuinely great laughs, those engaged in television need to get their faces out of the money trough.

And since the advertisers have pronounced themselves as wanting TV quality, we should force them to continue the withdrawal of support until they have seen real improvement. In fact, we should ask them to lead the way out of this wasteland.

Mass media can be many things. The huge leaps in communication technology have not been matched with the kind of thought that such developments deserve. We move willy-nilly from one new gadget to another. This kind of thoughtlessness has brought us to this sorry state.

It is time to review our options, because we have them. Because our system prevents government from interfering with the media, the advertisers should take this cue from the public, not just to appease the critics, but to engage them in raising the standards for television for the masses.

The Constitution protects the media from government interference. Unfortunately, after some 25 years of press and media freedom, we have so very little to show for it.

It may mean that the media have not been deserving of such protection.

Melinda Quintos de Jesus is the executive director of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility.,-%3Ci%3EWilling-Willie%3C/i%3E,-the-public-sphere&id=30285

April 29, 2011
Statement of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman: On the complaint filed against Mr. Willie Revillame for violation of the “Special protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act”

Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman

[Released on April 27, 2011]

The last few weeks bore witness to a lot of developments relative to the March 12, 2011 episode ofWilling Willie, where a 6-year old boy was made to dance provocatively while tears streamed down his face. The huge public outcry against the video clip of the episode, which continues to spread via the internet, was a wake up call for everyone. The resulting publicity on the incident propelled concerned individuals, parents, and non-government organizations to look at child abuse as an all-important issue. This also led government agencies and child rights advocates to step up their campaign for the promotion of children’s welfare and the protection of their rights. Likewise, media practitioners and advertisers were compelled to re-examine their policies and practices relative to shows which involve children and youth.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development approached this matter, fully cognizant of the need to protect the child and his family. From a policy perspective, as lead agency in social welfare and development, we intensified our coordination with concerned agencies and stakeholders for the protection and promotion of the rights of children. In line with our mandate of providing preventive, protective, rehabilitative and developmental programs and services, we also provided psychosocial interventions to the child and his family.

Today, after much study and deliberation, we decided to file a case against Mr. Willie Revillame for violation of Republic Act No. 7610, otherwise known as the “Special protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.” Our decision to initiate legal proceedings is pursuant to our mandate to protect children who are victims of abuse, neglect and exploitation. It is also in response to the public clamor for government intervention regarding Mr. Revillame’s actuations toward the little boy in that unfortunate episode of Willing Willie.

We are filing this case because it is our job. We do this for all cases of child abuse that we come across, and we provide services to everyone who needs our help. There is no political angle here; neither is there any hidden agenda, as some quarters may allege. Our main concern is to promote the welfare of the child and his family, and others who are or may be placed in a similar situation.

Our preventive and rehabilitative services to children include child protective services, therapy, alternative family care, special social services for children in armed conflict, and rehabilitation services for children in conflict with the law. As of February 2011, we have served 4,701 children who are victims of various forms of abuse. Majority of these children (1,531 or 32.5 percent) are aged 14 to below 18, followed closely by those aged 10-14 (1,006 or 21.4 percent). We even have cases where children as young as 1 year old and below had been victimized (412, or 8.7 percent). Many of these children are in found in NCR (1,395 or 29.6 percent).

Apart from psycho-social intervention, we also provide legal assistance to children who are victims of abuse, neglect and exploitation. For years, we have forged partnerships with various organizations, such as the Child Justice League, in order to provide free legal assistance to these children and their families. We have also mobilized retained lawyers at each of our field offices, to serve their legal needs. As of December 2010, the Child Justice League handled 96 child abuse cases in our behalf. These cases are mostly within Metro Manila, although two legal cases are filed in Region IV-A and one in Region III. As of March 2011, our retained lawyers are also handling 139 child abuse cases nationwide.

We are doing everything we can to help these children. They deserve a better quality of life and we want them to be protected. We want them to enjoy the simple joys of childhood – love, protection, acceptance. Every child is precious. They are individuals in their own right and we need to nurture them in an environment that promotes their interest. As Stacia Tauscher once said, “We worry about what a child will be tomorrow, yet we forget that the child is already someone today.

Thus, to protect the six-year old boy who appeared on Willing Willie and others like him, we are filing this complaint. We take this opportunity to thank everyone who have supported us, and continue to support us, in our endeavours.

April 29, 2011
2 more child abuse raps filed vs Willie Revillame


04/27/2011 | 04:06 PM 

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has joined the legal battle regarding the alleged abuse of a six-year-old boy who was made to “macho dance” on TV5’s prime time game show “Willing Willie.” [See: The crying dancing boy incident: A timeline.]

DSWD Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman – together with “running priest” Fr. Robert Reyes, environmentalist Froilan G. Grate, advertising executive Frances Irene Bretana, and blogger Noemi Lardizabal-Dado – filed on Wednesday morning their separate but joint complaint-affidavits before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office, charging the show’s host, Willie Revillame for violation of the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act (Republic Act 7610).

This brought the number of complaints filed against Revillame in connection with the “macho dancing” boy incident to three. If convicted, he would face imprisonment of six years and one day to eight years, as provided for in Section 10 (a) of RA 7610.

“We are filing the case because it is our job. We do this for all cases of child abuse that we come across, and we provide services to everyone who needs our help,” Soliman said in a statement.

“There is no political angle here; neither is there any hidden agenda, as some quarters may allege,” she added.

The complainants said they had no idea that a different group composed of children’s rights advocates would file earlier on Monday, April 25, a similar case against Revillame and six others connected with his game show. In fact, Lardizabal-Dado had announced much earlier that her group would be filing a child abuse case against the TV5 host.

TV5 had already said that it is already re-examining its policies and vowed that no similar incident would happen in the future.

Child abuse?

In their complaint-affidavits, it is alleged that Revillame had committed child abuse as defined under Section 3 of RA 7610, particularly “psychological…abuse” and “emotional maltreatment” [paragraph (b)(1)] as well as “[a]ny act by deeds or words which debases, degrades or demeans the intrinsic worth and dignity of a child as a human being” [paragraph (b)(2)].

“We were able to individually view the segment from the internet, after it was uploaded on the YouTube website. As concerned citizens, we denounce the exploitation and irresponsible treatment of the six year-old [boy] on the show Willing Willie. Revillame’s actions and utterances constituted psychological abuse, cruelty, and emotional maltreatment of the child, as it debased, degraded and demeaned Jan-Jan’s intrinsic worth and dignity as a human being,” the private complainants said in their affidavit.

In an earlier interview, Revillame’s counsel, Leonard de Vera, urged those who are condemning the show to watch the entirety of the segment and not just the YouTube video.

“The boy is well and fine. If only those who are quick to condemn Willie would only view the entire 48 minutes TV episode of the boy and not view merely the spliced and tampered YouTube tape, they will be enlightened and spare the boy the stigma of unjustly branding him as an ‘abused child’ for the rest of his life,” he said.

Interviewed by GMA News Online, Bretana sent a text message to clarify the stand of the private co-complainants.

“We are not against the boy’s dancing. We are not against the boy’s parents and relatives who expressed joy over his performance. We are against the ridicule heaped on the boy after one man made fun of him as he called the six-year-old boy a ‘macho dancer’ on national television. That is no way to treat a child, in any civilization, in any nation,” she said in her text message.

Online campaign against child abuse

The private complainants are online activists making an impact in the real world. Their online children’s right advocacy led to the withdrawal of several advertisers from “Willing Willie” and Revillame’s announcement that his game show would go on a two-week suspension. But as of posting time, the show has yet return on air. 

Grate started the Facebook community page “Para Sa Mga Bata” which circulated a March 28 open letter titled “Child Abuse on Willing Willie show in TV5.” The online email campaign he had helped launch quickly got the attention of government agencies such as the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), and National Commission on Children’s Television (NCCT); of media and advertisers groups such as the Philippine Association of National Advertisers (PANA) and the Kapisan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP); of international organizations like the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); of human rights groups like the Ateneo Human Rights Center; of schools such as the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication and the St. Scholastica’s College; and of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) - National Secretariat for Social Action.

Together with child psychologist Dr. Honey Carandang and blogger John Silva, Grate also faces two charges filed by the parents of the dancing boy.

In a text message, Grate said: “Hindi kami natinag sa mga hinabla sa amin na kasong libelo at child abuse. Kami pa – child abuse? Kita naman natin lahat kung sino ang nagsabing ‘macho dancer’ na ala-‘Burlesk Queen’ ang bata habang sya’y sumasayaw sa halakhak ng studio audience. Masakit at mapanlait na pananalitang binato sa isang walang depensang musmos!” 

(We are not cowed by the libel and child abuse raps filed against us. Were we the ones who committed child abuse? We all saw who it was who called the dancing boy a ‘macho dancer’ and likened him to a ‘Burlesk Queen’ to the delight of the studio audience. Hurtful words of debasement hurled at a defenseless child.)

Lardizabal-Dado, for her part, initiated a “blog carnival” in which people online are invited to write articles and express their views about the controversial March 12 incident concerning the crying dancing boy. The blog carnival began on April 18 and ends on April 28.

She explained: “Just by writing a blog post or tweeting about the blog carnival, you can help raise awareness on child protection laws. The children cannot speak out for themselves. While hundreds are striving to shed light on violations of children’s rights, there is a great personal cost to themselves and their families. Children rights advocates rely on the freedom to speak out.” - with Mark D. Merueñas/KBK, GMA News

April 29, 2011
Cristy Fermin under fire for ‘sexist’ statements


MANILA, Philippines – A women’s group is criticizing entertainment columnist and talk show host Cristy Fermin for issuing “sexist statements which condone abuse of women.”

Jean Enriquez,executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP), slammed Fermin for making statements on her television show that purportedly dignified harassers and maligned lesbians.

The target of the group’s ire was these 2 remarks from Fermin:

· “…dalawang lalaking personalidad lang ang parang pinapayagan ng publiko na maging ‘matulis.’ Si Rico J. Puno lang atsaka si Willie [Revillame]. Pag sila ang nag-deliver para bang malaking karangalan mo pag mabastos ka.”

· “(Aiza) Seguerra should not talk about morality as she lives an immoral life.”

Enriquez said: “The first justifies sexual harassment when done by certain individuals. Is there a worse way of humiliating women than by dignifying harassers?”

She also blasted the impression that it is okay to harass women, or even children, “as long as one is able to ‘deliver it well’ ala-Rico J. or Willie R.”

Puno and Revillame are 2 personalities who are well-known for their double-meaning jokes.

That episode of the show has been uploaded on YouTube and now a hot topic in Twitterverse.


As for Fermin’s other statement which alluded to the sexual preference of former child actress Seguerra, who has a non-showbiz girlfriend, Enriquez said it “maligns lesbians as immoral.”

“Homophobia and stigmatization of lesbians is also a form of gender-based violence,” she said. “Both [statements] are appallingly, terribly sexist statements which condone abuse of women.”

Furthermore, she said her women friends have asked her why Fermin was even allowed to say them on air.

She criticized both media outfits and advertisers for allegedly capitalizing on the sexual objectification of women and children. She cited a controversy involving a 6-year-old boy that impersonated the body movements of a macho dancer on “Willing Willie.”

“Media has long played a critical role in objectifying women, including children as shown by the now controversial episode of Willie Revillame’s program, and this has led to the normalization of abuse against us,” she said.

She is calling on civil groups to join ranks and demand a more responsible and gender-sensitive mass media.

“It is high time that we talk about the role of media in stereotyping, sexualizing and justifying abuses and violence against women and children,” she said.

Meanwhile, she also lauded some artists who spoke out against these forms of abuse.

April 29, 2011
PPS's Position Statement on the Jan-Jan Suan's Dancing Incident (Uploaded 4/19/11)

This statement is in response to the incident of a six year old boy who was subjected to ridicule and humiliation on a reality primetime show after dancing like a stripper on television. There had been several clamors and enquiries if the child’s right was violated or an abuse was incurred. The DSWD and Commission on Human Rights are already acting and completing their reports on this to be submitted to the Department of Justice. With this incident the guidelines on the protection of children’s rights need to be revisited.

Under Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the most widely adopted human rights treaty in the world, it states that:

· Children must be protected from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.

· The CRC also provides for prevention and for identification, reporting, referral, investigation, treatment and follow-up of instances of child maltreatment described heretofore, and, as appropriate, for judicial involvement.

It is clearly stated under Section 10 of Republic Act 7610, or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act:

· (a) Any person who shall commit any other acts of child abuse, cruelty or exploitation or to be responsible for other conditions prejudicial to the child’s development including those covered by Article 59 of Presidential Decree No. 603, as amended, but not covered by the Revised Penal Code, as amended, shall suffer the penalty of prison mayor in its minimum period

In the Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) Broadcast Code of 2007, Article 11 on Children’s Programs and Welfare provides for:

  • The airing of programs that would help children to develop to their full physical and mental and social potential shall be encouraged.
  • Programs shall not depict inappropriate sexual subjects or violent actions
  • No material that are physically, mentally, morally and psychologically harmful to children shall be aired.

This despicable incident calls for a nationwide campaign for awareness on children’s rights, to educate the public especially the parents, not to treat children as mere commodities and use them to earn any amount of money in doing so. The networks hence the media in general, as well as everyone, including pediatricians and child advocates should be more vigilant of their responsibility to protect human right particularly given their distinctive and vast power to persuade society.

The PHILIPPINE PEDIATRIC SOCIETY, INC. condemns such act and concurs with the earlier statements of DSWD, the Commission on Human Rights, and other various organizations that the rights of Jan-Jan as a child were violated in this incident.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 April 2011 03:54

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April 27, 2011
Revillame, TV5 Faces Child Abuse Raps

Mario Dumaual, Patrol ng Pilipino  04/25/2011 11:58 PM

Sa larangan ng children’s rights, kinasuhan ng anim na children and women’s rights advocates ng child abuse sina Willie Revillame, gayundin ang limang matataas na opisyal ng TV5.

Kabilang sa kinasuhan ang chairman nitong si Manuel V. Pangilinan sa Quezon City Justice Hall.

Ang mga nagreklamo ay kasapi ng iba’t ibang human rights sector tulad ng ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes).

Ayon sa grupo, ang mala-sekswal na pagtampok umano ng “Willing Willie” sa batang nagsasayaw noong March 12 ay katumbas ng pang-aabuso.

Nakakababa rin daw sa pagkatao ng bata ang mga salita ni Revillame patungkol sa sitwasyon at pamilya ng bata.
Ayon sa mga nagsampa ng kaso, lumabag umano ang mga respondent sa mga karapatang pambata.

"We cannot allow these laws to be trampled upon so we have to act. These groups have been historically fighting for children’s acts," ani Jean Enriquez, executive director ng Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (Asia-Pacific)

Ipinagpaliban muna ng TV5 ang magkomento sa isyu dahil wala pa silang opisyal na kopya ng reklamo.

Giit naman ng  business unit head ng “Wlling Willie” na si Jay Montelibano, walang naganap na sexual abuse or child exploitation sa programa.

Handa rin nilang depensahan ang kanilang posisyon sa korte.

Nilinaw din ng grupo na wala silang kuneksyon sa anumang TV network.

"No, we are not funded. ECPAT is not an organization funded by any media network at all," ani Amihan Abueva, pangulo ng ECPAT.

"We are not interested in any network rivalries or politics. We just want to make sure that children are defended," dagdag niya.
Nakatakdang i-raffle ang kaso sa Huwebes para malaman kung sino ang hahawak ng kaso sa QC RTC.

April 26, 2011
Child rights group files raps vs Willie Revillame, others - Nation - GMA News Online - Latest Philippine News

04/25/2011 | 07:14 PM 

A group of child rights advocates on Monday filed child abuse complaint against TV host Willie Revillame and six others in connection with the controversy involving a six-year-old boy who was allegedly made to gyrate on national TV in exchange for cash.

The group that called itself Stop Child Rights Exploitation in Media (SCREAM) said the respondents violated Republic Act 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse), RA 9775 (An Act Defining the Crime of Child Pornography), and RA 9231 (An Act Providing for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor).

The seven-page complaint was filed with the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office. Aside from Revillame, host of TV5’s prime time show “Willing Willie,” the other respondents were Rey Espinosa, TV5 president and CEO; Roberto Barreiro, executive vice president and CEO; Manuel Pangilinan, co-producer and chair of Associated Broadcasting Company; Jojo Jardeleza, director; Rackie Sevilla, executive producer; and Adrian Gret, segment producer.

The case stemmed from the alleged exploitation of Jan-Jan Suan during the March 12 episode of “Willing Willie” where he, despite being teary-eyed, was made to dance several times in a sexually provocative manner in front of a live audience.

Sought for comment, the camp of Revillame welcomed the filing of the complaint, saying it would provide them with a proper forum to answer the accusations against them. They also denied abusing Jan-Jan Suan.

“The boy is well and fine. If only those who are quick to condemn Willie would only view the entire 48 minutes TV episode of the boy and not view merely the spliced and tampered YouTube tape, they will be enlightened and spare the boy the stigma of unjustly branding him as an ‘abused child’ for the rest of his life,” said Leonard de Vera, Revillame’s legal counsel, in a text message to reporters.

The complainants, however, said the respondents “degraded” Jan-Jan Suan by offering him P10,000 after “humiliating and mocking” him.

“That the respondents used the boy in the subject game show for purposes of profit and benefit, by giving, rewarding and paying him P10,000 for his participation and performance and humiliating and mocking the boy, thereby degrading the boy’s intrinsic worth and dignity as a human being and exposing him to circumstances that are harmful to his safety and morals,” the group said in its complaint. 

It added that the “degrading exhibition is compounded by the cruelty of the show’s main host, Revillame, who kept on egging the boy, mocking his performance and exclaiming amidst the laughter of the jeering crowd.”

The group likewise accused the other respondents of failing to stop the offending acts from occurring and continuing, “thereby cooperating in the commission of, and perpetuating the offensive acts to the prejudice of the boy.”

By allowing the boy to dance like a “macho dancer,” the group said the respondents — particularly the network’s officials — allowed TV5 to become the “extension of bars and brothels facilitating the prostitution of children.”

“Willing Willie” was suspended for two weeks following the controversy, which resulted in some sponsors pulling out their advertisements from the show. - KBK, GMA News

April 22, 2011
Parents, don’t dress your girls like tramps

LZ Granderson

April 19, 2011

Editor’s note: LZ Granderson writes a weekly column for A senior writer and columnist for ESPN The Magazine and, he has contributed to ESPN’s “Sports Center,” “Outside the Lines” and “First Take.” He is a 2011 and 2010 nominee and the 2009 winner of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation award for online journalism and a 2010 and 2008 honoree of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association for column writing.

Grand Rapids, Michigan (CNN) — I saw someone at the airport the other day who really caught my eye.

Her beautiful, long blond hair was braided back a la Bo Derek in the movie “10” (or for the younger set, Christina Aguilera during her “Xtina” phase). Her lips were pink and shiny from the gloss, and her earrings dangled playfully from her lobes.

You can tell she had been vacationing somewhere warm, because you could see her deep tan around her midriff thanks to the halter top and the tight sweatpants that rested just a little low on her waist. The icing on the cake? The word “Juicy” was written on her backside.

Yeah, that 8-year-old girl was something to see all right. … I hope her parents are proud. Their daughter was the sexiest girl in the terminal, and she’s not even in middle school yet.

Abercrombie & Fitch came under fire this spring for introducing the “Ashley,” a push-up bra for girls who normally are too young to have anything to push up. Originally it was marketed for girls as young as 7, but after public outcry, it raised its intended audience to the wise old age of 12. I wonder how do people initiate a conversation in the office about the undeveloped chest of elementary school girls without someone nearby thinking they’re pedophiles?

Push-up bikini controversy Video

What kind of PowerPoint presentation was shown to the Abercrombie executives that persuaded them to green light such a product?

That there was a demand to make little girls hot?

How young is too young to be sexy?


Push-up bikini controversy


I mean, that is the purpose of a push-up bra, right? To enhance sex appeal by lifting up, pushing together and basically showcasing the wearer’s breasts. Now, thanks to AF Kids, girls don’t have to wait until high school to feel self-conscious about their, uhm, girls. They can start almost as soon as they’re potty trained. Maybe this fall the retailer should consider keeping a plastic surgeon on site for free consultations.

We’ve been here with Abercrombie before — if you recall, about 10 years ago they sold thongs for 10-year-olds — but they’re hardly alone in pitching inappropriate clothing to young girls. Four years ago the popular “Bratz” franchise introduced padded bras called “bralettes” for girls as young as six. That was also around the time the good folks at Wal-Mart rolled out a pair of pink panties in its junior department with the phrase “Who Needs Credit Cards” printed on the front.

I guess I’ve been out-of-the-loop and didn’t realize there’s been an ongoing stampede of 10-year-old girls driving to the mall with their tiny fists full of cash demanding sexier apparel.

What’s that you say? Ten-year-olds can’t drive? They don’t have money, either? Well, how else are they getting ahold of these push-up bras and whore-friendly panties?

Their parents?

Noooo, couldn’t be.

What adult who wants a daughter to grow up with high self-esteem would even consider purchasing such items? What parent is looking at their sweet, little girl thinking, “She would be perfect if she just had a little bit more up top.”

And then I remember the little girl at the airport. And the girls we’ve all seen at the mall. And the kiddie beauty pageants.

And then I realize as creepy as it is to think a store like Abercrombie is offering something like the “Ashley”, the fact remains that sex only sells because people are buying it. No successful retailer would consider introducing an item like a padded bikini top for kindergartners if they didn’t think people would buy it.

If they didn’t think parents would buy it, which raises the question: What in the hell is wrong with us?

It’s easy to blast companies for introducing the sexy wear, but our ire really should be directed at the parents who think low rise jeans for a second grader is cute. They are the ones who are spending the money to fuel this budding trend. They are the ones who are suppose to decide what’s appropriate for their young children to wear, not executives looking to brew up controversy or turn a profit.

I get it, Rihanna’s really popular. But that’s a pretty weak reason for someone to dress their little girl like her.

I don’t care how popular Lil’ Wayne is, my son knows I would break both of his legs long before I would allow him to walk out of the house with his pants falling off his butt. Such a stance doesn’t always makes me popular — and the house does get tense from time to time — but I’m his father, not his friend.

Friends bow to peer pressure. Parents say, “No, and that’s the end of it.”

The way I see it, my son can go to therapy later if my strict rules have scarred him. But I have peace knowing he’ll be able to afford therapy as an adult because I didn’t allow him to wear or do whatever he wanted as a kid.

Maybe I’m a Tiger Dad.

Maybe I should mind my own business.

Or maybe I’m just a concerned parent worried about little girls like the one I saw at the airport.

In 2007, the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls issued a report linking early sexualization with three of the most common mental-health problems of girls and women: eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression. There’s nothing inherently wrong with parents wanting to appease their daughters by buying them the latest fashions. But is getting cool points today worth the harm dressing little girls like prostitutes could cause tomorrow?

A line needs to be drawn, but not by Abercrombie. Not by Britney Spears. And not by these little girls who don’t know better and desperately need their parents to be parents and not 40-year-old BFFs.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of LZ Granderson.

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April 21, 2011
The Crying Dancing Boy Incident: A Timeline - Special Reports - GMA News Online - Latest Philippine News

04/18/2011 | 06:41 AM 
Few televised performances have had the public impact of six-year-old Mike’s (not his real name) dance on the variety show Willing Willie last March 12. The sight of a crying boy gyrating in front of a howling audience and prodded by the program’s famous host Willie Revillame spawned a viral social media campaign, a probe by the government’s TV review board MTRCB, ad pullouts by some of the country’s biggest firms, and calls for reform across the TV industry. 
GMA News Online has produced a timeline tracking the still unfolding story. It will be updated as new developments happen. — GMA News

Collated by Candice Montenegro, with additional reporting by Marnie Tonson
Timeline JavaScript by Wayne Manuel

April 19, 2011
Willie Revillame and the Pinoy psyche


(The Philippine Star) Updated April 17, 2011 12:00 AM

At the Philippine STAR-National Bookstore event F. Sionil Jose wondered why Willie Revillame is famous. It can’t just be the cash handouts — there are other TV personalities who give money away. The controversy that he generates — from suspensions for offensive behavior or language to sexual harassment charges to his ongoing legal battle with his former network — has not only failed to alienate his core audience, it seems to have made him more popular. His long, rambling speech before he went on leave from his show, pending yet another MTRCB review, may offer some useful clues.

Willie Revillame assumed the role of victim as he had many times in the past. He asked why he was being persecuted. He took issue with show business personalities who had criticized him on Twitter over the episode of the dancing 6-year-old boy. He was particularly offended by the statements of former child stars Lea Salonga and Aiza Seguerra. “Why are you doing this to me?” cried the “victim,” whose current network contract is said to guarantee him billions.

These are familiar statements because we have heard them from many mouths. They are the stock defense of every sidewalk vendor arrested for not having a permit, every policeman suspended on graft charges, and every politician caught stealing. “Why are you persecuting me?” and “I am the victim here.”

Politicians everywhere cry harassment when they get caught, but seldom do they wallow so deeply in claims of weakness. “You are oppressing me because I am small and helpless while you are big and powerful. Kawawa naman ako (Poor me). Ako ay maliit na tao lamang. (I am puny.)” 

Where does this sense of victimhood come from? Is it a consequence of colonialism — t he mindset that our survival is subject to the whims of a ruling power? Is it our Catholic upbringing that emphasizes our frailty and advises us to throw ourselves upon the mercy of a higher power? Or is it the feudal structure of Philippine society, dating back to pre-colonial times and firmly in place, unchallenged, to this day?

Whatever — our relationship to power seems to be: I don’t have it, you have all of it, and you use it to oppress me.

It is widely assumed that Willie Revillame is popular because the masses want to be him, the guy who was reportedly planning to give away fifty cars on his 50th birthday. But what if we have it backwards? What if Willie Revillame is actually the embodiment of parts of our collective psyche that we refuse to acknowledge because we find them reprehensible? Do they idolize him because they want to be him, or because they ARE him?

He does seem to have an instinct for what will please the masa, an instinct that may have been schooled out of the educated classes. For instance we would die of embarrassment if we had to go on TV, reveal that we are destitute, and accept money from Willie Revillame. The lumpen proletariat do not have such qualms; in our country embarrassment is a middle-class affectation. Our notions of poverty are completely different: we view it as a temporary problem, but it is their constant, non-updating status. They will describe their misery to millions of strangers, weep on camera, take the money and jump for joy.

Consider, my friend the amateur sociologist says, how Willie Revillame hands out money. Certain forms are observed. He reaches into his pocket as if he were giving away his own personal funds, and he adopts a “confidential, just between us” manner, never mind that the cameras are all on him and everyone is watching.

It is also very Filipino Catholic, this notion that everyone is automatically entitled to pity and a handout. All you need is… need. And many of our people are always in need. At the same time, the definition of “helping” is forking over cash. Not jobs, not education, but cash right here and now. Recall the balikbayans lining up on Willie Revillame’s old show to give him dollars to distribute to the poor.

In one episode of his game show all the contestants were scavengers. First Willie Revillame asked them how much money they made from rooting in landfills. Then he asked them how many times they could afford to eat in one day. Finally he turned to the cameras and said, “That is the true state of the nation. You don’t need to watch the news to know that.”

No wonder the primetime news programs were worried. In an industry that regards ratings as the sole measure of success, ignorance is an asset convertible to cash. They have no moral authority over him. Hell, they made him.

It would be a disservice to the Filipino audience to say that they love Willie Revillame because he buys their affection. Clearly, he taps into the Pinoy psyche in a way that politicians can only dream of. He is not the problem, but its gaudiest manifestation. The problem is much bigger than a unfunny comedian with wads of cash, but no one will admit it because they need the ratings, they want to be politically-correct, and they aspire to get elected.

* * *

Twisted by Jessica Zafra

Pumping irony since 1994.

April 19, 2011
Willie, and patterns of sin

By John Nery
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:35:00 04/18/2011

Filed Under: Television, child abuse, Celebrities, Judiciary (system of justice), Crime, Books, Jose Rizal, Language

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AN “UNETHICAL lawyer,” now “relishing his return to the limelight,” in the process “betraying principles he fought for in the Estrada impeachment”—if I were to describe Leonard de Vera, Willie Revillame’s counsel, in these terms, he would feel offended, and rightly so.

Each of the terms can be traced to some factual basis. De Vera was suspended by the Supreme Court for two years, for unethical conduct. (A news release from the Court in July 2006 began thus: “The Supreme Court yesterday suspended Atty. Leonard De Vera from the practice of law for misusing the US$12,000 he had received in trust for his American client.”) De Vera was a prominent legal resource person on TV during the Estrada impeachment crisis in 2000 to 2001; in fact, he served as a private prosecutor in the impeachment trial. And De Vera, in those same years, was very vocal about the culture of corruption, and the role that excessive amounts of money played in it.

But these inconvenient facts aside, it would be illogical (and also unfair) to criticize De Vera’s conduct as Revillame’s counsel in the last several days in precisely those three terms. But I do want to give him a small dose of his own ad hominem medicine.

De Vera has obviously taken the view that the best defense of Revillame’s behavior during the unfortunate Jan-Jan episode is a scorched-earth offense. Alleging prejudicial bias, he has gone on attack mode, severely criticizing one of the country’s foremost psychologists, several members of the Movie and Television Classification and Review Board, top officials of the social welfare department and untold numbers belonging, apparently, to a vast Facebook-enabled conspiracy (organized, supposedly, by rival network ABS-CBN), all out to get Revillame.

His approach, however, is decidedly unhelpful. (It may be a direct consequence of the circumstances in which Revillame left ABS-CBN, a victim, the best-paid man on television thought then, of insufficient company support.) It can only inflame the emotions. If De Vera ascribes a dark bias to Revillame’s critics, what does that make of De Vera himself? His defense of Revillame can only be biased too, and based on contract. Why, then, should anyone believe him?

If he (and by presumption the client he works for) cannot distinguish between different kinds of critics, then he is no better than the man whose impeachment he prosecuted.

* * *

In the thick of Holy Week, one aspect of the latest Revillame controversy suggests itself to me. And that is, precisely, that it is only the latest. In other words, there have been others. And like any other sinner, like all of us, Revillame too is marked by the pattern of his sins.

I use the word “sin” analogically—like the term “original sin” itself—but will anyone be surprised if some of these same controversies amount to sin as understood in the Christian sense?

A recent column in the Star by Yoly Ong, on the “10 ways to be a monster hit,” serves as a useful index of Revillame’s previous controversies. By far the worst, it seems to me, is the “Wowowee” stampede that claimed the lives of 78 fans. (I saw that long, bedraggled line the day before the stampede; the fans were already there, at the mercy of both the elements and the show’s organizers.) More deaths than the Ampatuan massacre; ABS-CBN should have ended his show right then and there, to prevent anyone saying the awful truth: That one can get away with murder. That, in fact, is what Revillame’s pattern of sins suggests: He is always trying to “get away” with something.

I have many friends in TV5; I am genuinely happy that the network’s fortunes have taken a turn for the better, under new management; I can vouch for the thrilling sense of possibility that now animates the network’s managers, producers, reporters. It is a source of deep anxiety to me to realize that, despite Revillame’s record of controversy, all this promise of the new TV5 turns out to depend, to an uncomfortable degree, on Willing Willie’s good will.

* * *

RIZAL 150 NEWS. For my money, the best “coffeetable book” on Rizal is Vibal Foundation’s superb edition of Asuncion Lopez Bantug’s biography,

“Lolo Jose.” I am happy to relay the news that the same foundation is preparing what it calls “a multimedia tribute” to mark Rizal’s 150th birthday.

The digital platform is a cornerstone of Vibal’s Rizaliana. On June 10, it will launch The Complete Jose Rizal, a special section in (I only hope that the section’s collection of Rizal’s letters won’t be a slave to the 1961 compilation translated by the estimable but overworked Encarnacion Alzona). In the same month, Vibal will launch a Rizal app for the iPad: “a trilingual interactive e-book of ‘Ang Pagong at ang Matsing’ … featuring an intuitive interface, gorgeous graphics and an immersive score.”

Working with Instituto Cervantes, Vibal will also publish, in old-fashioned print, the two novels in the original Spanish—a worthy effort, especially if the Spanish-language editions are an improvement on those published by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. A superior introduction please, and useful annotations!

* * *

April 19, 2011
When grown-ups see children cry

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:52:00 04/18/2011

Filed Under: child abuse, Television

MANY PERSONS have asked me if I’ve seen the Jan-Jan video. I finally did and I have four words to describe it: pathetic, deplorable, sick and indecent.

It’s pathetic. I feel so sad for the little boy. Here you see him crying all the time he’s doing a striptease. It’s clear that he’s not enjoying what he’s doing. Being only 6 years old, he really does not understand full well the import of what he’s doing. But you can see the audience laughing their hearts out and reveling in what they consider comic adult entertainment: comic because it’s so incongruous.

Here’s also what’s sad about the whole thing: ordinarily, when adults see a child crying, they sympathize and try to alleviate the child’s distress. But in the video, no one’s doing anything to help the hapless child.

It’s deplorable. What one can observe is how low in moral standards the people in the audience have fallen. I hate to think that this event could be a reflection of our society in general. And I’m very glad that there are so many people denouncing it.

It’s sick. If the people in the audience can’t discern what’s terribly wrong with the whole thing, then there must be something very wrong with the way they think or don’t think. This is a sickness of the mind we must constantly wage war against: the lack of sound thinking.

It’s indecent. Decency demands that we respect persons. This poor child was not respected. When he grows up, can we expect him to respect others? If this is the way we treat our children, what kind of future are we making for them and for ourselves?

A society rises and falls on its moral standards. If we want to move forward and develop, we must keep our standards high.

111 B. Gonzales St.,
Loyola Heights, Quezon City