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MTRCB chair Lala Sotto on 'It's Showtime' suspension: 'A lot of people are suggesting to cancel the show'

By JUSTINE PUNZALAN Published Sep 27, 2023 8:12 pm Updated Sep 27, 2023 8:50 pm

The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) addressed anew the comments it has been receiving with regard to the suspension order it has issued against Kapamilya noontime program It's Showtime.

During the discussion of the proposed budget of the MTRCB for 2024 held earlier today, Sept. 27, MTRCB chairperson Lala Sotto-Antonio clarified that although the board has been drawing flak for its decision to suspend the show for 12 days, there are also many who expressed support of their move, suggesting to cancel the show completely.

Speaking to the session's chairperson, Senator Jinggoy Ejercito, Sotto said, "There are also a lot of people suggesting to cancel the show. We consider other peoples' comments too."

"That is not the only comment that we receive, saying that a 12-day suspension is too much. There are also a lot [of those] saying that the show should be canceled or that the number of days should be extended," she added.

The MTRCB chair said that the move followed a "unanimous decision" from the board committee, excluding herself.

Sotto is one of the children of Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, former Senate president and longstanding host of the noontime show E.A.T., which is one of the direct competitors of It’s Showtime. 

She said during the session that MTRCB's board committee "only voted on the number of days" it is suspending It's Showtime, with the options of either "12 days or six days."

"I was physically present because it was a board meeting, but I did not vote, I did not participate," she reiterated, noting that MTRCB Hearing and Adjudication Committee Chairperson Paulino Cases is handling the case.

MTRCB issued the suspension order to It's Showtime on Sept. 4 after receiving multiple complaints concerning the show's July 25 episode, where hosts Vice Ganda and Ion Perez allegedly “acted in an indecent manner” during its "Isip Bata" segment.

The show's producer, ABS-CBN Corporation, on the same day retaliated with a Motion for Reconsideration on the belief that "there was no violation of pertinent law."

Sotto, however, said in today's forum that the show and its producers failed to give a follow-through or hold a discussion with the board.

"We gave them a 15-day period for them to be able to file a motion for reconsideration because we wanted to give them the chance to cooperate with us, to enter into a dialogue at least or to coordinate, but that did not happen, and we also wanted to give them due process," Sotto stated.

Cases noted that the board is set to finalize its decision on the show's suspension "within the week."