The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) denounced the surge of threatening messages directed at MTRCB Chair Lala Sotto as posted by unidentified individuals on their official social media pages.
In a statement, the MTRCB described the online attacks “alarming” and that it raises “serious concerns about the safety and security” of Sotto.
It read in part, “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.”
Despite the strong criticism, it went on to assure the public that the MTRCB “remains steadfast in its mission to ensure that television and movie content aligns with the cultural values and norms of the Philippines.”
It added, “We continue to encourage constructive dialogue with the public, emphasizing the importance of civil discourse and responsible criticism.”
MTRCB Vice Chair Njel De Mesa defended Sotto.
He maintained, “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., meanwhile, 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.”
The criticism started after the MTRCB made public its decision to suspend popular noontime show “It’s Showtime” for 12 airing days following deliberation, which the MTRCB cleared, Sotto inhibited herself from.
The suspension stemmed from alleged complaints sent to the agency by concerned citizens disturbed over supposed “indecent acts” performed by show hosts Ion Perez and Vice Ganda in a segment of the show.