Last Friday, April 8, it was announced on Channel 5 that the station would file libel charges on me for calling them pedophiles. Last Saturday, the libel suit was reiterated by Ch 5 with the approval of Willie Revillame’s lawyer, Leonard de Vera.
Today, it was announced that libel charges will be filed by the parents of Jan Jan instead, and included Froilan Grate, Dr. Honey Carandang and myself with unnamed John and Jane Does.
In an apparently devious and rather naïve move, Manny Pangilinan who owns the station and Willie Revillame have made the parents be the accusers instead of them.
Few will believe that the parents are doing this on their own volition and that they have the funds to sustain a legal battle.
I will respond to their libel charges in due time but I can categorically state that I did not call Channel 5 pedophiles. That constitutes name-calling and that’s beneath me. And for me to have branded the whole station as pedophiles is terribly unkind. There are many more apt and precise descriptions of that station and its owner which decency inhibits me to state.
What they are really upset is my persistent education of the public about Republic Act 7610 for the Special Protection of Children. It is a criminal offense and four government agencies have categorically asserted that the Jan-Jan dance was in violation of that law. And today, it has also been opined by the Dept of Justice Head de Lima that she too feels that the incident violates the law. That same law is what our government uses to go after and prosecute sex traffickers, child pornographers and pedophiles. The severity of the accusation by the Philippine Government on the station and Willie Revillame and the implications as to the sort of company they are now lumped with and possible jail sentences is what unsettles them. They have therefore resorted to a libel case to attempt to silence me, Froilan, Dr. Carandang and the tens of thousands of people who have expressed righteous outrage over what is a clear display of child abuse.
But their bumbling move to make the parents carry the suit will blow up in their faces.
To the companies who once supported the show, your dropping ad placements were an admission that the incident was repugnant as well and you did not want your brand logos to be replaced with a crying sex dancing boy. You have asked for guidelines from the station to plan future ad placements. Their slimy move to make the parents carry the suit shows extremely bad faith on the station’s part by pitting the parents with consumer advocates, diverting the issue, and silencing the critics that warned you about this filthy segment in the first place!
Since you are tracking Facebook and social media reactions, you will note the massive outpouring of anger in today’s announcement which will qualitatively expand and your companies will be the first affected. Consumers see through this ruse very clearly so we warn you not to consider ad placements until all libel charges are dropped. In fact, you all have a direct line to Revillame and Pangilinan. So, give them a call. They listen very well to those who hold the purse strings.
For foreign multinationals (P&G, Unilever, et al) you are painfully aware of the worldwide reporting of this incident and you will have a lot of explaining to do should you return to advertise in that sordid show. You now have Filipinos and worldwide consumer activists to deal with and they can exact worse consequences than you ever dreamed.
To our supporters, please keep up the pressure on our government (write on their websites, on their FB, to their e mails) letting them know we are watching and that we support the full application of Republic Act 7610.
Write to the companies and tell them we find no redeeming value whatsoever in continuing ad placements with the show. If they should capitulate, we have the power of choice and a continued boycott will be our forceful solution.
This righteous consumer anger was felt and heard from tens of thousands of Filipinos and friends around the world. So do your share in e mailing your concerns with the companies. You have seen better TV programming abroad. Imagine working hard and missing your family and children only for them to be subjected to prime time garbage. Do not let bad programming destroy your family values.
I am of the utmost certainty that we will prevail. We have truth and decency on our side no matter how they try to cow us. They have just made the supreme debacle of making us have to fight the parents. They have decided to hide behind them and use them. This despicable cowardice is apparent and will only hasten the end of the squalid programming they’ve inflicted on us for so many forlorn years.
Hasta La Victoria Siempre!