Saturday, October 14, 2006

MTRCB's X-Rating Earns Bipartisan Ire, But Where Is Civil Society?

The head of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), Consoliza La Guardia seems to be on the verge of tears every time she is interviewed on TV or Radio nowadays after her agency received a token one peso budget for 2007 from Congress for giving an X-rating to a DVD Biography of former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada, entitled Ang Mabuhay Para Sa Masa.

I think she wants to cry because she knows in her heart of hearts that she is horribly wrong on this one. Ms. Laguardia really wants to cry tears of regret at not standing up to whoever put the MTRCB up to such a hare-brained scheme as an obvious violation of the freedom of speech. Perhaps she can already imagine a Supreme Court decision calling her an grave abuser of discretion and a suppressor of a most precious political and civil right.

Indeed, Ricky Carandang of ABSCBN News really had her on the ropes after she tried to stand up for what they had done in banning the DVD. Pressed by Ricky if the MTRCB had ever done anything of this nature, poor Ms. La Guardia was at a loss for words and could only blurt out that if "people are not satisfied with our decision" they can still appeal the matter to Malacanang Palace. (NOW the true culprit is revealed, as Ms. Laguardia was clearly pointing to the source of her and the agency's current woes!)

It is these thoughts and nightmares that I suspect is actually uppermost in her concerns, even when she feebly trots out the formulaic line that MTRCB validly based their decision on long-standing Implementing Rules and Regulations. But her inept and tentative delivery of such a legalistic defense, only reveals that she was just coached to say that by some huck-shyster. What she needs to do is unburden herself by revealing the real circumstances of how they came by such an execrable decision. Now that her agency has been given a 1-peso token budget as punishment by a bipartisan bloc in the House of Representatives, who is she so loyal to anyway? Even Deputy Speaker Prospero Nograles castigated MTRCB for such a brazen suppression of civil liberties. And where the heck are those Civil Society eck-eckeros like Conrado de Quiros and Rina Jimenez David when you need them? Is it really just fuck films like Toro by Joey Reyes in 2001 that we would defend from the X-rating of fascists and theocons ? "Civil Society" -- such as it is -- did not react in the present challenge to liberty with anywhere near the fury and fervour burning it unleashed on Cardinal Sin and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the 2001 controversy.

By the way, in its decision banning the bio, the MTRCB proclaimed that certain scenes in the last three minutes of the DVD
"...may undermine the faith and confidence of the people in their government and or duly constituted authority..."
Sounds to me all the more reason for NOT banning the DVD. Sounds to me like there would be legitimate PUBLIC INTEREST in such a powerful and original DVD.

However, as anyone who has actually bothered to watch the DVD knows, there isn't anything in it at all that would be considered NEW. Nothing that has not been said, broadcast, portrayed, discussed, published and publicly aired since Erap was deposed, arrested, jailed and now festers like a wound that won't heal.

2 comments:

john marzan said...

By the way, in its decision banning the bio, the MTRCB proclaimed that certain scenes in the last three minutes of the DVD

"...may undermine the faith and confidence of the people in their government and or duly constituted authority..."


If Laguardia were to operate a similar censors board in the US for the Bush Administration, shows like this one, and films like this one won't even see the light of day.

Rizalist said...

hahaha! well it really is pitiful listening to Ms. Laguardia though. even caught her on radio, which she may mistakenly believe to be less impt than tv. But she is so transparent you know...