A TEACHERS’ group hit back on actress Rosanna Roces Tuesday for her “insulting remarks” against teachers during ABS-CBN’s noontime talent show “Showtime.”

They described Roces’ statement as “very ironic and unfortunate that one of the judges in the show uttered such words to the most important people in schools, the teachers.”

“How come a very influential entertainment figure would utter such comment against teachers in national TV, in the highest-rating show in the Philippines where people of all ages - most of them youth are watching?” said Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) National Chairperson Benjo Basas.

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“The comment put us in an undignified state. Text messages from all over condemning Ms Roces start circulating, some even suggest boycotting the show and the entire network for allowing such a disgrace,” Basas added. TDC has about 30,000 members nationwide.

According to Basas, talent shows like “Showtime” serves as a venue to showcase and nurture the hidden talents of the Filipino youth.

“It is important to note that most of the groups and individuals who join talent contests discovered and develop their skills during their school days,” the teacher from Caloocan City said.

It will be recalled that during a live show last January 7, Roces uttered harsh reactions when a contestant from Calamba, Laguna could not answer her question regarding Jose Rizal’s name origin.

“Murahin mo yung teacher mo ha. Ako minura ko teacher ko nung hindi niya sinagot sa akin yan. Oo walang hiya yang mga teacher na yan hindi sinasabi yung totoo sa atin eh.. Ikaw taga-roon ka hindi mo alam,” Roces told the contestant.

Her co-judge on the show, Vice Ganda, later reminded the audience that there are many teachers who are good at their profession, and people should not generalize when they criticize the failures of educators.

But Basas said that by asking the contestant to curse his teacher, Roces was actually asking him to curse all of the educators across the country.

The TDC official further stated that Roces added insult to the “already injured” teachers by pronouncing the following statements.

“Kayo mga kabataan huwag kayong makukuntento sa itinuturo ng libro at ng teacher. Magtatanong kayo hindi naman masama yun. Dahil ang mga teacher they were just repeaters, itinuturo nila kung ano ang naituro sa kanila, hindi na nila itinuturo kung ano yung gustong malaman ng mga bata,” Roces said.

“The first two sentences of her comment may be true in a given context. However, we could not pardon the third, which gives the entire message of the remark; teachers do not have the capacity to critically analyze the teaching and learning process,” Basas said.

A day after the incident, it was announced that the show’s management has removed Roces as one of the judges due to series of similar unpleasant comments.

20-day suspension

Earlier, the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) ordered a 20-day suspension of “Showtime” for the controversial statements of Roces.

“We commend the action of the MTRCB. Such insensitive and obnoxious remarks against the pillars of Philippine education and the noblest of all professionals should not be shown in TV, especially in a program being watch by millions of our youth,” he said.

“However, we are in sympathy with the show’s production staff, hosts, other judges, contestants, and the viewing public who, in one way or another have been affected by this controversy,” he added.

Meanwhile, TDC admitted that they are among the millions of Filipinos who enjoy this very interesting show, which was even imitated in some schools.

“We are also in the belief that the suspension of the entire show for 20 days is too much for a penalty and should be lifted immediately,” Basas said.

“With the show management’s action ahead of the censors’ board, the network and Roces herself, indeed, admitted that there were excesses. The removal of Roces in the hurados and her apology are proofs that the show management is responsible enough to regulate and penalize itself,” he added.

Likewise, TDC urged TV personalities, especially those in wholesome shows, to refrain from any offensive form of language and gesture and be more considerate of the culture and belief of the various groups and sectors in trying to entertain the public.

“If we are sensitive enough to rage against racist comments and scenes from papers and shows abroad, all the more that we have to be vigilant here in our very home,” the group said. (AH/Sunnex)