MTRCB bans ‘Chasing Tuna in the Ocean’ over scenes with nine-dash line

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MTRCB bans ‘Chasing Tuna in the Ocean’ over scenes with nine-dash line

BANNED. A screenshot from the documentary 'Chasing Tuna in the Ocean.'

Courtesy of MTRCB

'Chasing Tuna in the Ocean' is a documentary by Jing Jianmin of Weihai, China

MANILA, Philippines – The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) announced on Thursday, March 21, its decision to ban the Chinese documentary film Chasing Tuna in the Ocean from running in the Philippines due to scenes showing a map with the controversial nine-dash line in the South China Sea.

The U-shaped line is included on Chinese maps to illustrate what it claims as its territory in the South China Sea, encroaching on the exclusive economic zones or EEZs of five ASEAN coastal states, including the Philippines. An arbitral tribunal had ruled the line invalid in 2016. 

According to the MTRCB Committee on First Review, the scenes were “considered an attack against the prestige of the Republic of the Philippines and is violative of Section 3 (c) of Presidential Decree No. 1986 (PD No. 1986).” The committee has since rated the film “X” or “Not for Public Exhibition” in the country.

“The MTRCB will continue to exercise its powers and prerogatives consistent with its mandate, and as Filipinos, we shall not tolerate any content that undermines the prestige of the Republic of the Philippines,” said MTRCB Chairperson Lala Sotto.

“Producers are not precluded from applying before the Board a request for a second review, provided, however, that they submit a revised material with the contentious scenes deleted to adhere to the MTRCB Charter. This serves as a reminder to producers to conform with MTRCB standards,” Sotto qualified.

Chasing Tuna in the Ocean is a documentary by Jing Jianmin of Weihai, China. According to the Publicity Department of Weihai Municipal Party Committee, filmmakers from the area have produced three films highlighting Chinese sea laborers – Squid Piscator in the Heart of the Sea, A Kite Across the Sea, and Chasing Tuna in the Ocean – with the latter focused on fishermen working in the Indian Ocean. –

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