With a majority vote, the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) has decided to reject the Motion for Reconsideration (MR) filed by the network ABS-CBN regarding the 12-day suspension of its noontime variety program It’s Showtime.
At a Sept. 28 press conference announcing the decision, the board said that it stands by its Aug. 17 ruling in response to complaints about the show’s “Isip Bata” segment.
The segment, which aired on July 25, sparked controversy when comedian-host Vice Ganda licklicked cake icing offered by their partner Ion Perez in a supposedly “indecent manner..”
“A big majority of board members, which are comprised of educators, businessmen, and lawyers, voted to deny the MR,”” saidPaulino Cases, chairman of the MTRCB adjudication committee, at the briefing.
He specified that, out of 30 board members, 27 voted to deny the MR.
MTRCB chair Lala Sotto-Antonio also said that she did not vote on the suspension in the spirit of transparency and fairness.
“I truly believe that being my father’s daughter should not be taken against me. Instead, it should even be taken positively that I am someone who grew up in the industry. I am someone who loves the industry and understands the industry… I am just doing my job humbly and justly,” she said.
Ms. Sotto has been facing criticism for the board’s ruling, considering that her father, Tito Sotto III, is the host of It’s Showtime’s rival noontime show, EAT.
The MTRCB also reiterated that the case falls under Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1986, which grants the board the power to disapprove of objectionable portions from, and prohibit the broadcast of, television programs.
It added that the act in question was done inappropriately in presence of children and violated Section 3(C) of the said decree.
“We receive voluminous complaints on this segment both officially filed to MTRCB and through messages from family and friends,” said Ms. Sotto.
Meanwhile, ABS-CBN released a statement on their official websites and social media platforms hours after the rejection saying that they are currently exploring all possible options to dispute it.
“We have received the decision of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board denying our Motion for Reconsideration regarding It’s Showtime and are currently exploring all our remedies and options,” the statement said.
It’s Showtime may still appeal the suspension to the Office of the President within 15 days from the receipt of the MR decision. In the meantime, it will continue to air. — Brontë H. Lacsamana