CA nullifies suspension order on Tulfo program-A A +A
Friday, March 8, 2013
MANILA -- State censors can no longer put public affairs program "T3: Kapatid, Sagot Kita" off air for three months after the Court of Appeals (CA) issued a favorable ruling to television station TV5 on Thursday.
T3 was earlier ordered suspended by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) for its hosts' statements against celebrity couple Raymart Santiago and Claudine Barretto.
The couple figured in a brawl with noted columnist Ramon Tulfo at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in May 6 last year. Tulfo is the elder brother of T3 hosts Erwin, Raffy, and Ben Tulfo.
"The severe penalty that the MTRCB metes out is akin to a single-strike policy which creates an unsparing and oppressive broadcast media environment rather than one which is tolerant, open and constructive," the CA Former Sixth Division said through Associate Justice Rosmari Carandang.
Describing the penalty as "too harsh," the Court said MTRCB's action was "unwarranted and effectively constituting prior restraint." It added the Tulfos were also suspended by the network as part of its duty of self-regulation.
"The significance of this act of self-regulation by TV5 is very crucial in our conclusion that the MTRCB imposed its power in a heavy handed manner and ignored the fact that TV5 franchise's, like that of other television networks, provides for concurrent rights and responsibilities," the CA said.
The MTRCB had said that it found probable cause to charge the show for violating Section 3(c) of Presidential Decree 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."
TV5 thought otherwise as it slammed the MTRCB for overstepping its authority when it clamped down on a news and public affairs show. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)