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MANILA, Philippines – The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) on Thursday, September 14, denounced the “disturbing threats” it has been receiving targeting Chairperson Lala Sotto.
This comes a week after the MTRCB suspended the ABS-CBN noontime show It’s Showtime due to the alleged indecent acts in its “Isip Bata” segment starring real-life couple Vice Ganda and Ion Perez.
“Over the past weeks, we have experienced an unfortunate surge in threatening messages on our official social media pages, including explicit rape and death threats directed at Chairperson Lala Sotto,” said MTRCB Vice Chairman Njel de Mesa.
The MTRCB shared screenshots of the messages it has been receiving on its Facebook page, which range from urging Sotto to resign to wishing for her death.
The agency called for “civil discourse and responsible criticism,” saying that harassment and violence are not only illegal but also run counter to “the principles of a Filipino value-based media and entertainment culture.”
The MTRCB expressed concern about the safety of Sotto, who De Mesa said “has consistently championed the importance of media content that respects cultural sensitivities while contributing positively to the Philippine entertainment industry.”
Sotto happens to be a daughter of former Senate president Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, one of the hosts of E.A.T., a noontime show on TV5 and competitor of It’s Showtime. She inhibited from voting on the It’s Showtime suspension, according to the MTRCB.
Sotto also came under fire for photos showing her in a courtesy call made by the Kapisanan ng Social Media Broadcasters ng Pilipinas, Incorporated (KSMBPI) on August 24.
KSMBPI is suing Vice Ganda and Perez for alleged violation of Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
Sotto said in a separate statement on Wednesday, September 13, that the agency had no say in the group’s decision.
“The purpose of this visit was to express their support for our efforts in monitoring film and TV broadcasts, recognizing that the MTRCB operates as a small agency with limited manpower,” said Sotto.
She urged the public not to view the photos with “malicious intent.” – Rappler.com