GMA Network defends Clavio on Azkals issue

Rappler.com
GMA Network says anchor Arnold Clavio was merely using his Constitutional right to express his opinions

MANILA, Philippines – GMA Network Inc has defended its anchor, Arnold Clavio, in the face of alleged racial slurs he made against the Philippine Azkals.

In a statement, GMA Network said it sees nothing racist, discriminatory, libelous, or malicious in the commentaries of Clavio and his co-anchor, Rhea Santos, on their morning show Unang Hirit.

In a letter addressed to the network’s president and COO, Gilberto Duavit Jr, the Philippine Football Federation had asked GMA Network to investigate the matter and to sanction Clavio for his “scurrilous and discriminatory words.” 

In a statement, however, GMA Network said Clavio made his remarks not as part of the network’s news reportage, which it said, focuses on facts, not opinions.

“Ang mga inireklamong pahayag ay unscripted discussion ng Unang Hirit hosts sa commentary segment ng programa kung saan sila ay nagpalitan ng opinion at nagbigay ng kani-kanilang pananaw tungkol sa naturang issue,” the network said.

(The statements being complained about were part of the unscripted discussion of Unang Hirit hosts during the program’s commentary segment during which they exchanged opinions and views on the issue.)

Right to express opinions

GMA Network stressed that the Constitution protects the rights of the hosts to express their opinions.

Sang-ayon man kami o hindi sa kanilang opinyon, ang karapatan nilang ihayag ito ay kinikilala ng GMA Network tulad ng aming pagrespeto sa karapatan ng publiko at maging ng PFF na maghayag ng kanilang opinion — basta ang nasabing opinyon ay hindi labag sa batas.”

(Whether we agree or not with their opinions, GMA Network respects their right to express these in the same way that we respect the public and the PFF’s right to express their opinions – as long as these opinions do not break the law.)

The network also regretted the PFF’s interpretation of Clavio’s statements.

Ang pinapatungkulan ni Arnold ay hindi kung Filipino citizen o kung may lahing Pilipino ang mga Azkals kundi kung naisapuso at naisaisip ba nila ang kulturang Pinoy,” GMA Network said. (Arnold was referring not to whether the Azkals are Filipino citizens or of Filipino descent, but whether they have taken Filipino culture to heart.)

Earlier this week, Clavio trended on Twitter after his remarks outraged netizens. – Rappler.com

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