The Movie And Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) cannot control the strong language of presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte during news coverages shown live on TV.
In a statement by MTRCB Chairman Eugenio “Toto” Villareal, he said, “In response to queries over media, the MTRCB officially informs the public that under Section 7, Presidential Decree No. 1986 and its implementing rules and regulations, the agency’s jurisdiction does not cover ‘newsreels,’ i.e. straight presentation of events (which depict actualities) or straight news reporting. Examples are live media briefings or conferences, such as the recent evening media conference of the incoming Chief Executive, and on-the-spot news like a running reportage of a hostage crisis.”
As such, Villareal noted that MTRCB is able to “give premium to the right to free speech and expression, and freedom of the press as well as the public’s right to information.”
Also, MTRCB “respects and supports the right as well as duty of tclevision networks to self-regulate in regard to straight news.”
Besides MTRCB, another body that governs media is the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas. Both individual networks have their own self-regulatory and ethical guidelines for the purpose.
Villareal said, “Our networks will always have to balance freedom of the press—and many times together with the individual freedom of expression of the subject of the news, on the one hand, with constitutionally accepted limitations such as danger to national security or the right to privacy, on the other.”
He continued that the MTRCB is also aware of the challenges of reporting “as it happens” especially the need to authentically show events of national importance or to deliver the message of those who form public opinion, despite “strong images or language.”
“Thus, pursuant to its developmental mandate, the MTRCB has regularly endeavored to help networks by lending academic or expert resources for talks and conferences, and increasing public awareness on the matter through the agency’s Matalinong Panonood campaign,” the MTRCB chief added.