The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) has denounced the “alarming online attacks” against its chairperson Lala Sotto.
The MTRCB has pointed out how “netizens have taken to the official social media pages of the MTRCB to express their grievances in an inappropriate and harmful manner, raising serious concerns about the safety and security of the Chairperson.”
“Over the past weeks, we have experienced an unfortunate surge in threatening messages on our official social media pages, including explicit rape and death threats directed at Chairperson Lala Sotto,” the statement posted on its Facebook account said.
MTRCB vice chairman Njel De Mesa also said, “Chairperson Lala Sotto is a dedicated public servant who has spent her career advocating for responsible and inclusive media content. She has consistently championed the importance of media content that respects cultural sensitivities while contributing positively to the Philippine entertainment industry.”
MTRCB executive director II Atty. Mamarico Sansarona Jr. added, “No Filipino deserves such kind of unfounded personal attack. We must not resort to personal attacks because our agency is just doing its mandate. We are happy that our Chair is very active in discharging the functions of our office based on existing laws.”
“While the MTRCB recognizes the importance of constructive criticism and open dialogue, it strongly condemns any form of threats, harassment, or violence, both online and offline. Such behavior is not only illegal but also runs counter to the principles of a Filipino value-based media and entertainment culture that the MTRCB upholds,” the MTRCB furthered.
The government agency stressed that it “remains steadfast in its mission to ensure that television and movie content aligns with the cultural values and norms of the Philippines. We continue to encourage constructive dialogue with the public, emphasizing the importance of civil discourse and responsible criticism.”
Earlier, the MTRCB has issued a decision to suspend the ABS-CBN noontime program It’s Showtime for 12 airing days following alleged “indecent act” in its July 25 episode of the segment Isip Bata.
The episode showed Vice Ganda and his partner Ion Perez licking frosting from a cake off their own fingers.
Some fans are connecting the MTRCB decision to Lala being the daughter of rival show E.A.T. host and former senate president Tito Sotto.
Meanwhile, the MTRCB clarified that the recent photos circulating online of Sotto was taken during a courtesy call by the Kapisanan ng Social Media Broadcasters ng Pilipinas, Inc. (KSMBPI) at the MTRCB Office on Aug. 24, 2023.
“The purpose of this visit was to express their support for our efforts in monitoring film and TV broadcasts, recognizing that the MTRCB operates as a small agency with limited manpower. Thus, the MTRCB welcomes their expression of support on ensuring responsible and quality content in the entertainment industry in line with our mandates under PD 1986,” the MTRCB said.
As stated by the KSMBPI, its decision to file a case (against Vice Ganda and Perez) “was never triggered nor influenced in any way by the MTRCB.”
The MTRCB has “urged everyone not to interpret these photos with any malicious intent.”