MANILA, Philippines [UPDATED] – The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) has suspended for 20 days the Tulfo brothers’ show on TV5, the network’s news website reported Thursday, May 10.
The MTRCB’s preventive suspension order came after Erwin, Ben, and Raffy Tulfo – hosts of public affairs show T3 – made threatening statements against celebrity couple Raymart Santiago and Claudine Barretto, according to a report on Interaksyon.com.
TV5 President and CEO Ray Espinosa said they will appeal the MTRCB order, which was “illegal” and “a violation” of press freedom.
The Tulfos’ eldest brother, Ramon “Mon” Tulfo Jr, was involved in a brawl with Santiago and Barretto at the NAIA Terminal 3 on Sunday, May 6.
On Monday, May 7, the Tulfos hijacked their early evening show to defend their embattled brother and threaten Santiago and his wife. TV5 slapped them with a three-day suspension the next day.
TV5 in a statement stressed that they “will never condone” the behavior, which was “not only uncalled for but runs counter to the established Code of Ethics that we all strictly adhere to.”
The eldest Tulfo himself said his brothers disappointed him with the controversial T3 episode. “Did you smell testosterone, plenty of it at work, during the episode? Tulfo testosterone – pure, unadulterated,” the broadcaster said in an interview with Rappler. (Watch video below.)
Espinosa said that while they “respect” the MTRCB order, they will question its legality.
“Errors and misbehavior of a talent must be treated separately from a news program or platform. Talents are dealt with in accordance with the Code of Ethics of each of the networks but a news program cannot be suspended by the MTRCB as a regulator,” the TV5 chief told ANC on Thursday.
“The order is a violation of the freedom of the press,” he added.
This was not the first time that MTRCB suspended a television program.
In 2006, the regulator suspended the showing of ABS-CBN news documentary program “The Correspondents” for airing scenes that projected smoking marijuana was an enjoyable activity.
It also suspended noontime show “Wowowee” in 2007 for several violations, including an alleged breast exposure by one of its talents, and offensive remarks made by the host. – with a report from Patricia Evangelista/Rappler.com