The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) “reassured” the public of its fairness by inhibiting its chairperson, Diorella “Lala” Sotto-Antonio, in the voting process for the 12-day suspension of the noontime show It’s Showtime.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Sept. 5, the agency said that a special board meeting was conducted on Aug. 17 to discuss “multiple adjudicated cases,” which included the controversial Jul. 25 episode of It’s Showtime, where two of its hosts, real-life couple Vice Ganda and Ion Perez, did a cake icing tasting, which the agency deemed as “indecent acts.”
During the regular board meeting on Aug. 29, MTRCB collectively voted for the suspension of the noontime show.
“This decision was made with careful consideration of prior warnings and offenses associated with the show,” they wrote, also sharing that its chairperson, Lala Sotto wasn’t involved in the voting to ensure that the “Board exercised their independent judgment” during the process.
“Chairperson Lala Sotto inhibited from voting, ensuring that members of the Board exercised their independent judgment in determining the appropriate course of action,” the statement read.
Lala Sotto is one of the children of Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, former Senate president and longstanding host of the noontime show EAT, which is one of the direct competitors of It’s Showtime.
Apart from highlighting Sotto's supposed non-involvement in the board's suspension of It's Showtime, the statement says that MTRCB would continue to “uphold due process and fairness in the discharge of its regulatory mandate and quasi-judicial function, as provided by law."
It added that all respondents, in this case, the It’s Showtime team, were given the chance to present their case and submit their position papers for deliberation.
“In each adjudication proceeding, the Board ensures that respondents are accorded due process and exercise their right to a fair trial. Through the Agency’s Hearing and Adjudication Committee, respondents are given the opportunity to present their case and submit position papers, which are deliberated upon by the said Committee,” it added.
“After considering the merits of the case, the Committee recommends to the Board its final decision for affirmation.”
They also added that the respondents can file a Motion for Reconsideration (MR) within 15 days after receiving the decision. They also have the right to appeal to the Office of the President should the Board’s decision on their MR be unfavorable.
“The order suspending the show shall only take effect after the lapse of the aforementioned periods without the respondents having filed their MRs or appeals,” it concluded.
The MTRCB first gave notice to the noontime show on July 31 following Vice and Ion's alleged indecent act. A 12-day suspension was given on Monday, Sept. 4. The ABS-CBN immediately released a statement on the same day that they are filing an MR, standing firm that they did not violate any law.