ABS-CBN lawyer Maxim Uy on Wednesday said the 20-day preventive suspension order issued by the Movie and Television Review Classification Board (MTRCB) against “Showtime” was not given due process.
Uy said the censors board sent the notice of violation last Wednesday, January 6.
The notice gave ABS-CBN three days to explain, from January 7 to 9. Since January 9 is a Saturday, the last day to pass the explanation would have been January 11 (Monday), according to Uy in a television interview.
But before ABS-CBN could pass their response, the decision to suspend “Showtime” was already issued.
“That's what the ABS-CBN is saying about not following the process. Even if it was given time to explain, that was disregarded by MTRCB. With that point, ABS-CBN's side was not heard,” he said.
“What the ABS-CBN is wondering about is this release of a suspension order. In the past, if talks like this happen between ABS-CBN and MTRCB, MTRCB does not make a move like this that's why it's really something to wonder about," he added.
MTRCB Chair Consoliza Laguardia, on the other hand, said the preventive suspension is part of the due process.
“It's in the law. It's not like there's was no notice. It was not all of a sudden,” she said.
The two camps are set to meet today (Thursday).
Uy said the notice contained two reasons for the suspension: Rosanna “Osang” Roces's infamous statement on teachers being "repeaters" and her conversation with Vice Ganda on the same day, January 5.
On January 7, a day after the MTRCB notice was given, ABS-CBN decided to remove Osang from the panel of judges.
"If that was the reason (for the suspension), wasn't that prevented when ABS-CBN voluntarily took Rosanna out of the show?" Uy asked.
Osang has also issued an official apology, apart from the immediate apology she made at the end of the show.
France Castro, president of the Quezon City Public Schools Teachers Association, said she believes only Osang should be suspended.
“We should not lose our respect for teachers. What Rosanna Roces said is a big hurtful blow for educator,” she said.
In the meantime, “Magpasikat” replaced “Showtime,” but still hosted by Showtime hosts Anne Curtis, Vhong Navarro, Kim Atienza, and band vocalists Teddy of Rocksteddy and Jugs of Itchyworms.
Below is ABS-CBN's official statement on Showtime's preventive suspension:
“In the spirit of self-regulation, ABS-CBN removed Rosanna Roces as a judge in ‘Showtime’ after she made statements against the teachers in the January 7 live show. But despite this, MTRCB still imposed a 20-day preventive suspension for the program.
A preventive suspension is issued to stop further violations, if there were any committed, or for the interest or welfare of the public. Thus, the network questions the need for said preventive suspension when Rosanna Roces has already been removed from the program.
Showtime is a highly entertaining show watched by many Filipinos. It helps promote and showcase the creativity and talent of kapamilyas nationwide, uplifts their spirit and provides opportunities to improve their lives.” (Angela Casauay/Sunnex)