Lala Sotto inhibits from all MTRCB processes involving noontime shows
MANILA, Philippines — Movie and Television Review Classification Board (MTRCB) chairperson Lala Sotto said she is inhibiting from all the adjudicative processes on issues involving Philippine noontime shows in the interest of “transparency” and “fairness” amid the recent controversies hounding the agency.
Sotto made the disclosure during the Senate committee on finance’s hearing on the proposed 2024 budget of MTRCB on Wednesday.
“In the spirit of transparency and in the spirit of fairness, I have already inhibited myself from participating in all the adjudication processes of any noontime shows,” Sotto told senators.
Issues of the MTRCB’s fairness was first raised when the quasi-judicial body meted a 12-day suspension on “It’s Showtime” following alleged “indecent acts” committed by some of its hosts, considering that Sotto’s father, former senator, Tito Sotto III, is one of the hosts of the ABS-CBN show’s rival program, “EAT.”
Sotto subsequently issued a statement saying that she has inhibited from ruling to suspend “It’s Showtime.”
Afterwards, the MTRCB’s attention was again called when her father’s “EAT” co-host, Joey de Leon made his “lubid” joke that some viewers interpreted as a reference to suicide, a sensitive and triggering subject that should be within the ambit of the regulatory body.
Just a courtesy call
During Wednesday’s deliberations, Senator Jinggoy Estrada asked Sotto as to the purpose of MTRCB’s meeting with the Kapisanan ng Social Media Broadcasters ng Pilipinas, Inc. (KSMBPI) on August 24.
The social media advocacy group had previously filed a cybercrime complaint against Vice Ganda and Ion Perez, hosts of the ABS-CBN program “It’s Showtime,” whose acts of licking cake icing had been subject to the MTRCB’s suspension order.
According to Sotto, the meeting with KSMBPI was just a “courtesy call,” where the group expressed full support to MTRCB. She said that while the group mentioned that they would be filing a case against the hosts of “It’s Showtime,” the officials of the regulatory body “made it very clear that that is on them and that we will not be participating.”
However, Sotto claimed that there is no reason for MTRCB “to fear filing a case against anyone” if it there is a need to.
When asked if the suspension order on “It’s Showtime” was brought up during the meeting, Sotto replied that she could not recall.
“I was physically present because it was during a board meeting, but I did not vote [and] I did not participate. To make it clear, it was a unanimous decision of the board to suspend,” she said. EDV