When I wrote the entry , Willie Revillame humiliates six-year old boy Sunday afternoon, blogger Wenchie immediately contacted her friend,a staff of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Dinky Soliman. After a few minutes, I received word from Wenchie that “Sec.Soliman watched the taped show. She got so angry daw. She’s going to write MVP according to the EA.”
True enough, Sec. Soliman released the following letter at around 3:00 this afternoon.
March 28, 2011
MR. MANNY V. PANGILINAN
ABC Development Corporation
Dear Mr. Pangilinan:
This is with regard to the 12 March 2011 episode of your show “Willing Willie”, which was brought to my attention by several concerned citizens and groups. In the said episode, a six year-old boy named Jan-Jan Estrada was made to repeatedly perform dance moves usually done by adult dancers in indecent shows. The poor child was in tears and looked scared the entire time, as show host Willie Revillame poked fun at him and the audience laughed and cheered.
Under Republic Act No.7610, also known as “Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act”, the term “child abuse” includes the following acts: “psychological and physical abuse, neglect, cruelty, sexual abuse and emotional maltreatment,” and “any act by deeds or words which debases, degrades or demeans the intrinsic worth and dignity of the child as a human being.”
Given that definition, it is unmistakable that what happened last 12 March 2011 to Jan-Jan Estrada was child abuse.
Persuading a little child to dance sexy adult dances in exchange for a measly sum, while he is being laughed at and ridiculed will definitely traumatize the child. What kind of values are we teaching our children through these shows, especially after Willie Revillame pushed Jan-Jan to do something against his will and then told him that it’s alright because he will receive money in exchange for it?
Given the foregoing, I am requesting that:
(1) Young children not be allowed to appear in Willing Willie and other similar shows in the network that cashes in on poverty;
(2) Host Willie Revillame be rebuked for his insensitive and deplorable actions.
There are limits to children appearing on television, and clearly, your 12 March 2011 episode did not respect the rights of the child and traumatized the six year-old boy. I also wish to raise my concern that the show tends to cash in on the plight of the poor. There are other ways of helping the poor without having to degrade their dignity and earn money out of it.
I hope you can act on this swiftly and I would appreciate a response from your good office.
Very truly yours,
CORAZON JULIANO SOLIMAN
Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares
Source: Facebook of DSWD staff
A DSWD statement from the President’s website added that :
The DSWD will look for the family, determine the effect/impact on the child and from here determine if necessary counseling and/or stress debriefing should be given to the child and his parents to prevent further trauma and abuse, especially with the media hype triggered by this incident.
A few minutes after, MTRCB released a Briefer on “WILLING WILLIE”
BRIEFER ON “WILING WILLIE” REGARDING COMPLAINTS OF CHILD ABUSE
The Board received numerous complaints about the 12 March 2011 episode of “Willing Willie” aired over Kapatid Network TV5 where a six-year old boy contestant was shown to be gyrating and impersonating the body movements of a macho dancer.
In accordance with the Board’s duty to enforce the Constitutional mandate that the State shall defend the rights of children from all forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation, and other conditions prejudicial to their development, the Board has referred the matter to the Hearing and Adjudication Committee for appropriate disposition.
The Board further emphasizes that whenever children are featured in television programs, producers are mandated to observe legal standards stipulated in R.A. 7610 to avoid “psychological abuse xxx cruelty, sexual abuse and emotional maltreatment” and “any act by deeds and words which debases, degrades or demeans the intrinsic worth and dignity of the child.”
(Sgd.)MARY GRACE POE LLAMANZARES
Willie Revillame apologized :
Mr. Willie Revillame, the producers of “Willing Willie” and TV5 sincerely and deeply apologize for the segment of the show featuring 6-year-old Jan-Jan Suan which viewers may have found offensive or in bad taste. We wish to stress that there was never any intention to humiliate or abuse Jan-Jan or any contestant on the show.
There are no concrete actions taken by the station. Manny V. Pangilinan still has to reply to Sec. Soliman’s letter.
Here is a letter to Jan-Jan.
What did others think? All are disgusted.