Today’s MTRCB hearing was delayed by complaints from Willie Revillame’s camp including Atty Leonardo de Vera on the composition of the board. Here is MTRCB’s statement:
In today’s hearing of the case against “Willing Willie” about the child abuse incident in its 12 March 2011 episode, counsel for respondent Associated Broadcasting Company (ABC TV5) raised the issue of alleged impartiality of the Chairman and members of the Board’s Hearing and Adjudication Committee.
Even as I affirm the integrity of the Members of the Hearing and Adjudication Committee, I regretfully accept their voluntary inhibition in order to dispel any doubt as to their impartiality. Effective immediately, a new Hearing and Adjudication Committee is hereby constituted to determine the guilt or innocence of the respondents in this “Willing Willie” case.
The change in the composition of the Committee is to assure the public that the Board will only be guided by established facts and the law in the disposition of this case. This is also to avoid any attempt to further delay the expeditious resolution of the case.
Three members of the MTRCB adjudication committee who were present were Leah Navarro, Eric Mallonga and Eugenio Villareal. On the other hand, TV5 team was headed by legal counsel Christine Ona.
Atty de Vera pointed out that all three panel members of the MTRCB are conflicted as they have close links or relationships with a rival network.
The lawyer also pointed out that Mallonga is the legal counsel of ABS-CBN’s Bantay Bata Foundation while Villareal is married to an employee of ABS-CBN:
“Everybody knows that Willie is locked in mortal combat with ABS-CBN,” De Vera said.
“Navarro may not be connected with the network but she has already made negative comments on her Twitter account about Willie. She made these statements right after the incident without hearing Willie’s side,” said De Vera, who asked for the censors’ board members to inhibit themselves from the case.
Facts are Atty. Eric Mallonga is a child rights advocate because he used to be legal counsel for Bantay Bata. What they didn’t realize was while Atty. Mallonga was in ABS-CBN he was also the chair of the hearing and adjudication board of MTRCB who suspended Willie Revillame because of Wowowee. So how can Atty. Mallonga be biased right?
Atty. Villareal , fully disclosed at the start of the hearings that his wife works at ABS-CBN and is also the lawyer for Ryan Agoncillo who is a talent of ABC-5.
Delaying tactics perhaps.
An interesting thing is while all this was happening, I caught a facebook post in End Child abuse facebook page ( I lost the link as I was reading it in my mobile phone) . The message said the macho dance is part of Philippine pop culture. That post on the FB page was supposedly from a CCP board member. After further sleuthing , it turns out that there was no such person in the board.
A source told me they even presented videos to attest to that kind of dancing done in fiestas etc.
The TV 5 press statement is very disappointing:
As far as the minor is concerned, he is exhibiting a dance movement. In fact, body wave dancing has become part and parcel of Philippine pop culture. In many town fiestas and private gatherings, adults allow their children to dance in this manner.
Incredulous. Philippine pop culture? Let me guess where they learned those dances.
From shows like Willing Willie?
Well, presenting Willie Revillame’s lawyer. Know where he is coming from as he defends Willie. Facts here and here
Someone in facebook noted some parellelism in the above cases:
Atty. De Vera allegedly made untruthful statements, innuendos and blatant lies during the Plenary Session of the IBP 10th National Convention of Lawyers on April 22, 2005, making it appear that the decision of the IBP Board to withdraw the Petition questioning R.A. 9227, was due to influence and pressure from the Supreme Court, thereby bringing the IBP Board and the IBP as a whole in public contempt and disrepute ==
Did he not utter lies lately? did he not insinuate that ABS-CBN influence the case? did he not challenge MTRCB’s jurisdiction over the case?