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MTRCB suspends Tulfos' TV show for 20 days, TV5 cries 'censorship'

May 10, 2012 1:23pm

(Update 6:25 p.m.) The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board on Thursday slapped a 20-day preventive suspension on "T3 Kapatid Sagot Kita," the television program of the brothers of columnist Ramon Tulfo, four days after they threatened to harm actor Raymart Santiago and wife Claudine Barretto.

TV5 described the decision as "censorship."

After a preliminary conference that lasted more than two hours, the MTRCB decided to impose the preventive suspension effective Thursday, radio dzBB's Benjie Liwanag Jr. reported. Representatives of the Tulfo brothers – Ben, Raffy and Erwin – as well as of TV5 attended the MTRCB meeting.

MTRCB board member Eugenio "Toto" Villareal said the next hearing will be held on May 17. 

"We believe that this oversteps the mandate of the MTRCB, and sets it on a path that could threaten the independence and freedom of the broadcast industry," said TV5 in a statement. "A preventive suspension suggests that the continued broadcast of the program would constitute a danger to the viewing public. There is no such danger."

On Wednesday, TV5 suspended the three brothers from hosting their show. 

The network warned that the review board's action was a threat to the broadcast industry: "For MTRCB to even consider or suggest by its actions that  T3 has suddenly lost all its purpose and value, or worse, poses a danger to the public such that it warrants censorship, sets a dangerous tone and could potentially lead to a dangerous precedent for all news programs.”

Cop's complaint

An earlier dzBB report said Thursday's hearing also tackled the complaint of one SPO3 Abubakar Maglangit against the program.

Maglangit's complaint against the program stemmed from its episode last Nov. 9, when its hosts called policemen crooks and thick-faced.

Earlier, the MTRCB said it hoped to resolve within a month its investigation into alleged violations of the MTRCB charter by the Tulfo brothers' show.

"Probable cause"

On Tuesday, the MTRCB said it found probable cause to charge the people behind the TV program for violation of Section 3(c), P.D. 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," during its Monday episode.

MTRCB chairperson Grace Llamanzares also said the Board is endorsing the matter to the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) for appropriate action as to the TV personalities involved.

During the TV program's Monday episode, the three brothers warned actor Raymart Santiago that they would physically punish him if he crossed their path, after he fought with their brother, columnist Ramon Tulfo, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 last Sunday.

“Huwag ka muna lumabas ng bansa dahil kapag nagpangabot tayo sa Terminal 1, Terminal 2, at Terminal 3," Erwin Tulfo said on last Monday's program, addressing Santiago. "Tatamaan at tatamaan ka... Wala akong pakialam, pati asawa mo tatamaan sa akin. Ipagdasal mo na lang huwag tayo magkrus ng landas."

Santiago confronted their oldest brother Mon Tulfo after the latter took photos of Santiago's wife Claudine scolding ground crew personnel of Cebu Pacific for offloading their baggage from Boracay. — LBG, GMA News
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