Tuesday, December 19, 2023

STATEMENT OF THE BOARD: Imposition of Preventive Suspension on Two (2) SMNI Programs

THE Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) issued a preventive suspension order for two SMNI programs "Gikan Sa Masa, Para Sa Masa" and "Laban Kasama ang Bayan," effective 18 December 2023. This decision is a result of a thorough review and investigation into alleged violations related to content aired on these shows.

Gikan Sa Masa, Para Sa Masa – 10 October 2023 Episode

The MTRCB received multiple complaints regarding an alleged death threat made by a guest on the 10 October 2023 episode of "Gikan Sa Masa, Para Sa Masa." After a Preliminary Conference on 08 November 2023, SMNI committed to pre-recording and reviewing episodes, having been warned by the Board that similar incidents will be dealt with more sternly.

Gikan Sa Masa, Para Sa Masa – 15 November 2023 Episode

On 30 November 2023, the Board received a complaint about an alleged death threat and profane language by a guest on SMNI's "Gikan Sa Masa, Para Sa Masa." Subsequently, a Notice was issued for SMNI to appear before the Hearing and Adjudication Committee on 07 December 2023, with the respondent represented by counsel Atty. Mark Tolentino.

Laban Kasama ang Bayan – 27 November 2023 Episode

On 30 November 2023, the Board received a complaint about unverified news broadcasted on "Laban Kasama ang Bayan" related to the purported expenditure of PhP1.8 billion in travel funds by House Speaker Martin Romualdez. Following a Notice issued to SMNI, a Hearing and Adjudication Committee meeting was held on 07 December 2023.

Board Decision Imposing Order of Preventive Suspension

Upon careful review and consideration of recent events and complaints received by the Board, it was found that certain aspects of the abovementioned programs may have violated the established guidelines and standards set by Presidential Decree No. 1986 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations governing broadcasting content.

To prevent the possible repetition of these alleged infractions which may pose a negative impact on public welfare, ethical considerations, and the overall reputation of the broadcasting industry, the Board determined the need to preventively suspend the subject program/s by virtue of Section 3, Chapter XIII of the IRR of P.D. No. 1986.

During the 13 December 2023 Board Meeting, a unanimous decision was reached to impose a fourteen-day preventive suspension on "Laban Kasama ang Bayan" and a majority vote for "Gikan Sa Masa, Para Sa Masa." The decision aligns with the powers granted to the MTRCB by Presidential Decree No. 1986, ensuring that television programs adhere to contemporary Filipino cultural values.

Legal Basis for Preventive Suspension

The MTRCB cites Section 3(c) of Presidential Decree No. 1986, empowering the Board to approve or disapprove television programs that may be objectionable, including those undermining faith in the government or authorities, and being libelous or defamatory.

Moreover, Section 3, Chapter XIII of the Implementing Rules and Regulations allows the Chairman of the BOARD to issue a Preventive Suspension Order to prevent further violations or protect the interest and welfare of the public.

The decision supports the legal precedent set by Soriano v. Laguardia, et al., where the Supreme Court affirmed the MTRCB's authority to issue preventive suspension as part of its regulatory and supervisory mandate.

The MTRCB emphasizes that said order of preventive suspension is a proactive measure aimed at addressing concerns and ensuring compliance with established standards which shall be in effect for fourteen (14) days, during which SMNI is expected to address and rectify the identified issues.

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