M s. Grace Poe Llamanzares,
Dear Ms. Llamanzares,
Let me first introduce myself, because it will explain why I am writing you with such deep concern and urgency.
I am Dr. Ma. Lourdes “Honey” A. Carandang, retired professor, Clinical Child Psychologist, Founder and President of MLAC Institute for Children and Families.
This is a foundation that uses the science of Psychology for the well being of Filipino children and their families, especially the poor, the disadvantaged and traumatized. The MLAC Institute team is composed of certified clinical psychologists and child therapists, who advocate, practice. and model genuine respect for the Filipino child.
We believe that “discipline, dignity and self worth are the best gifts we can give the Filipino child. Not coincidentally, this is also what our country needs now.”
Through this letter, we would like to register our very strong condemnation of the child abuse shown on ABC 5’s TV show, “ Willing-Willie,” by its host Willie Revillame on March 12, 2011. Abuse was done on a 6-year old boy named Jan-Jan. This has become common knowledge due to the numerous letters of condemnation published in the broad sheet and circulating in the social media.
We are appealing to you to please administer strong, concrete, and clear sanctions on the program host and producers of the show. It is now of urgent importance to show the public that we are no longer letting wrong-doing remain unpunished; that we are no longer allowing people to get away with abuse as has been happening in the past.
The whole nation especially the youth is watching closely whether the host Revillame will once again “get away with it”. Willie has not been a good role model for our youth. The history of tragedies associated with him such as the “Ultra stampede” that caused the death of 72 people and his outburst of disrespect for the late President Cory Aquino suggest that he has not learned from his past mistakes and may not be able to do so.
We must give a strong message that now, in our country, wrongdoing has its logical consequence and that those who do wrong are punished. Let us not miss this golden opportunity to act now.
We therefore suggest the following:
- The immediate suspension of the program Willing-Willie and its host Willie Revillame for at least a month.
- The reformatting of the program to stop the disrespect and exploitation of the poor through the arbitrary dole out of cash by its host, with no other basis but his whim.
- The withdrawal of the sponsors from the show.
- The assessment of Jan-Jan and his family situation for possible needs that may be addressed properly.
- A massive educational campaign through workshops conducted in poor barangays to make parents and other adults aware of the different forms of abuse and their impact on children, and how to stop and prevent child abuse on the family and barangay level.
We have training modules that have been implemented in some barangays. These are detailed in the book, “The Path to Healing: a Primer on Family Violence (Carandang and Sison, 2004 Anvil).
The foundation will be glad to help in this very important endeavor as part of our mission.
I know that the first two recommendations are within the scope of MTRCB, but the rest we will refer to the appropriate government agencies.
I trust that you will act on this urgent matter as soon as possible.
Ma. Lourdes A. Carandang, Ph.D.
National Social Scientist, 1995
MLAC Institute for Children and Families
Dr. Honey Carandang is the country’s foremost authority on child and family issues. She has been in private practice for the last 40 years.