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MTRCB denies ‘special meeting’ triggered Vice Ganda case

AFTER photos circulated on social media of a meeting between the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) and the Kapisanan ng Social Media Broadcasters ng Pilipinas, Inc. (KSMBPI), MTRCB chairperson Diorella “Lala” Sotto-Antonio has released a statement clarifying that the visit was simply a courtesy call.

The photos in question were posted on Facebook by a certain Commander Red. The photos show members of KSMBPI at the MTRCB’s office for an agreement ceremony and meeting with Ms. Sotto on Aug. 24.

On Sept. 4, the MTRCB announced that it was suspending It’s Showtime for 12 airing days because of the cake icing incident.

The KSMBPI filed a criminal case at the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office on Sept. 11 against It’s Showtime comedian-host Vice Ganda and her partner Ion Perez for violating Republic Act 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, for “emulation of sexual activity.”

The meeting has been pointed out by netizens as proof that the two groups purposefully planned to target the noontime show for its “immoral content.”

In the statement issued Sept. 13, board chairperson Ms. Sotto said this was not the case, with the purpose of the visit merely to “express [KSMBPI’s] support for our efforts in monitoring film and TV broadcasts, recognizing that the MTRCB operates as a small agency with limited manpower.”

She also reiterated the KSMBPI’s recent statement that its decision to file a case “was never triggered nor influenced in any way by the MTRCB.”

“We urge everyone not to interpret these photos with any malicious intent,” the statement reads.

According to KSMBPI, It’s Showtime’s July 25 episode showed “emulation of a sexual activity” when Mr. Ganda licked cake icing off Mr. Perez’s finger.

The group claimed that broadcasting the video on television and uploading it on ABS-CBN’s social media platforms was detrimental to the general public and a violation of the cybercrime law.

ABS-CBN and It’s Showtime have yet to release official comments regarding the whole issue. — Brontë H. Lacsamana

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