Censors pull plug on Tulfos | Inquirer Entertainment

Censors pull plug on Tulfos

By: - Reporter
/ 02:39 AM May 11, 2012

Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB)

MANILA, Philippines – The Tulfo brothers’ hard-hitting program on TV5 “T3: Sagot Kita, Kapatid” was placed under a 20-day preventive suspension by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) on Thursday.

The Tulfos—Raffy, Ben and Erwin—had been under fire since May 7 after they aired threats of bodily harm against celebrity couple Raymart Santiago and Claudine Barretto to avenge the mauling of eldest brother Ramon, a Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist, at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 the day before.


Talking to the press after Thursday’s preliminary conference, MTRCB board member and spokesperson lawyer Eugenio Villareal said the preventive suspension was merely an ancillary or temporary remedy, as the case was still under investigation.


Citing section 3, chapter 13, of the implementing rules and regulations of the MTRCB, he said: “At any time during the pendency of a case and in order to prevent any further violation or in the interest and welfare of the public, the MTRCB is empowered to order the preventive suspension of a particular program.”

“They’re not allowed to air unless there’s an order from the ad hoc committee lifting the suspension,” Villareal said.

The case has been set for further hearing on May 14 at 10 a.m. “Hopefully, at the next hearing maybe we can have a resolution,” he said.

The MTRCB ad hoc committee is composed of board members Noel del Prado, Liezl Martinez and Jay Revistir. Also present at the hearing were MTRCB legal counsel and presiding chair Jonathan Presquito and TV5 lawyers Christine Ona and Nicholas Bondoc. MTRCB chair Grace Poe-Llamanzares is on leave.

Villareal stressed the MTRCB’s jurisdiction was limited to the program and did not include its hosts. “The issue is whether or not the network was negligent,” he said. “It’s about the responsibilities of the network, the relationship between the anchors and the network.”

He said it was up to the management of TV5 to allow the hosts to continue with their other TV and radio programs at the network.


Villareal clarified that the 20-day preventive suspension was not indicative of the punishment the program could face if the committee rules that “T3” had violated Presidential Decree No. 1986 “for airing scenes and utterances that are indecent and contrary to law, or with a dangerous tendency to encourage the commission of violence or of a wrong or crime.”

“The preventive suspension is just an order and not a ruling as to whether or not there has been a wrongdoing, so to speak,” he said.

In the May 7 episode of “T3,” Raffy Tulfo taunted Santiago by referring to him as “Raymart Barretto” and said the actor was lucky he and his companions had outnumbered his brother in the brawl.

“If you had fought one on one, your buttocks would be in your mouth right now,” he told Santiago in Filipino.

Ben challenged Santiago to a fight in a warehouse. “If you like, a large warehouse, closed, with ambulances on standby, last man standing, let’s see how good you are…,” he said also in Filipino.

Erwin ended his tirade against the celebrity couple with the warning: “Beware the wrath of the Tulfos,” also in the vernacular.

Asked what sanctions could be imposed on “T3,” Villareal said: “Depending on the circumstances, we can impose a suspension as a sanction, impose fines and self-regulatory measures, or cancel the show altogether.”

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TV5’s legal counsel Christine Ona said they were currently studying whether or not to appeal the MTRCB decision. “We’re going to report to the top management right now and see our legal options,” she said.

TAGS: Claudine Barreto, NAIA brawl, Ramon Tulfo, Raymart Santiago, Tulfo brothers

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