Saturday, January 16, 2010

‘Magpasikat’ hangs by a thread

ABS-CBN faces yet another showdown with the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) over “Magpasikat” which the latter mulls suspending like its predecessor, “Showtime.”

During the preliminary hearing with the network on Jan. 14, the MTRCB said that it will suspend “Magpasikat” if the investigation they mounted proves that it is “one and the same” show as “Showtime.”

"We will see. Aalamin pa ng committee kung totoo nga," Atty. Paulino Cases Jr., head of the hearing committee, told “TV Patrol World.”

ABS-CBN lawyer Maxim Uy argued that the two shows cannot be deemed identical based merely on the similarities in their hosts and staff.

"Ang basehan nitong mosyon ng MTRCB ay ang sabi nila dahil pareho daw ang mga hosts at bukod din doon, pareho ang mga production staff. Siguro naman ho alam natin na hindi dahil pareho ang mga host at pareho ang production staff, ang ibig sabihin ay pareho na ang programa," Uy said.

The subject that was brought up during the hearing puzzled ABS-CBN Management and its counsels. ABS-CBN said they were called for the investigation of guest judge Rosanna Roces’ remarks against comedian Vice Ganda during the Jan. 4 episode of “Showtime”---and not Roces’ remarks against teachers on the show’s Jan. 7 episode.

ABS-CBN’s legal counsel Miguel Silos said: "The MTRCB says that... the hearing is [supposedly] on a certain subject [yet] we are surprised that the prosecution brings up an all together different subject.”

It is recalled that Roces’ hurled vulgarities against Vice Ganda on the Jan. 4 episode when he spilled the beans on her romantic affairs.

Chairman Consoliza Laguardia said in an interview on the same news program, Jan. 12, that she, through a letter dated Jan. 5, directed “Showtime's” management to “file their comment within three days why no preventive suspension should be issued.”

Rosanna’s second offense prompted the Board to finally issue on Jan. 11, the 20-day suspension order for “Showtime” in order to prevent further violation of the law.

Section 3c of Presidential Decree No. 1986 states that the MTRCB has the power to prevent the airing of a program’s segments or scenes that are “immoral, indecent, contrary to law and/or good customs, injurious to the prestige of the country or its people.”

The Kapamilya network promptly filed a petition before the Court of Appeals (COA) the next day, asking for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO), as well as a writ of preliminary injunction to halt the suspension. ABS-CBN also asked COA for the issuance of the writ of certiorari for the permanence of the said injunction.

In an official statement dated Jan. 12, ABS-CBN questioned the suspension order since “Showtime” employed self-regulation by removing Rosanna from the panel of guest judges beginning Jan. 8.

Rosanna later thanked the station for giving her the opportunity to apologize on yet another hot topic involving her.

"Nagpapasalamat ako sa ABS-CBN dahil binigyan nila ako ng pagkakataong humingi ng paumanhin sa aking naging pahayag sa ‘Showtime.’ Naramdaman kong nakahanap ako ng tunay na kapamilya sa ABS-CBN dahil hindi nila ako iniwan sa ere. Kung sa ibang network, gaya ng naranasan ko noon, ay iniwan ako at pinabayaang magpaliwanag ng mag-isa," her message read on “TV Patrol.”

The next hearing is scheduled on Jan. 26.

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