You have nothing to apologize for, Willie Revillame
"It's not good for us to have fun here while the whole country grieves. I cannot make people laugh at the same time that this part of the funeral of our former president is being shown."
Willie was absolutely correct, but for making that objective and true comment, he could now be the most hated man in the Philippines. He has earned my respect, though, for daring to question the establishment, for daring to split from the tens of millions of Filipinos worshipping a woman who did plenty of damage on her own to her own country.
Willie has now apologized, under considerable pressure from the ABS-CBN network that broadcasts his show, not to mention the politicians looking to censor him. I hope he was 100% insincere about it. The letters to TV Patrol World were as contemptuous as I've ever heard, saying Willie should be "taught humility" and outrightly calling for government involvement.
The Aquino family spokesman said, "It is regrettable and a crass attempt to desecrate the memory of the beloved Tita Cory." How? From any perspective, he was simply saying the funeral video was inappropriate to the game show.
Ricardo Lo of the Philippine Star made a half-assed defense, acknowledging Willie was correct but saying Willie was still "disrespectful." That reminds me, in the opposite way, of Louis Farrakhan defending one of his cronies with faint criticism: "While I stand by the truths that he spoke, I must condemn in the strongest terms the manner in which those truths were represented."
And here are 14448 idiots (and counting) who are "petitioning" online to have Willie removed. They're not calling for a voluntarily boycott of viewers, they're calling for government to step in! "I am calling the attention of the MTRCB to be more vigilant, so that this lowest form of personal attack by a tv showbiz talk show host, for her/his personal agenda, will not happen again"
This is the law he's being threatened with, Presidential Decree 1986, made on October 5, 1985, that created the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board. Previous government censorship wasn't sufficient, so they created a new body:
Section 3. Powers and Functions. - The BOARD shall have the following functions, powers and duties:There you have raw, unadulterated tyranny in the guise of protecting public morality and people's good names. The board's chairman directly said, "It's really a violation of PD 1986 and the [Kapisanan ng Brodkaster ng Pilipinas] Code. He should have had respect. He should gone off air."
a) To promulgate such rules and regulations as are necessary or proper for the implementation of this Act, and the accomplishment of its purposes and objectives, including guidelines and standards for production, advertising and titles. Such rules and regulations shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following their publication in newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines;
b) To screen, review and examine all motion pictures as herein defined, television programs, including publicity materials such as advertisements, trailers and stills, whether such motion pictures and publicity materials be for theatrical or non-theatrical distribution, for television broadcast or for general viewing, imported or produced in the Philippines, and in the latter case, whether they be for local viewing or for export;
c) To approve or disapprove, delete objectionable portions from and/or prohibit the importation, exportation, production, copying, distribution, sale, lease, exhibition and/or television broadcast of the motion pictures, television programs and publicity materials subject of the preceding paragraph, which, in the judgment of the board applying contemporary Filipino cultural values as standard, are objectionable for being immoral, indecent, contrary to law and/or good customs, injurious to the prestige of the Republic of the Philippines or its people, or with a dangerous tendency to encourage the commission of violence or of wrong or crime, such as but not limited to:
i) Those which tend to incite subversion, insurrection, rebellion or sedition against the State, or otherwise threaten the economic and/or political stability of the State;
ii) Those which tend to undermine the faith and confidence of the people in their government and/or the duly constituted authorities;
iii) Those which glorify criminals or condone crimes;
iv) Those which serve no other purpose but to satisfy the market for violence or pornography;
v) Those which tend to abet the traffic in and use of prohibited drugs;
vi) Those which are libelous or defamatory to the good name and reputation of any person, whether living or dead; and
vii) Those which may constitute contempt of court or of any quasi-judicial tribunal, or pertain to matter which are sub-judice in nature.
Section 11. Penalty. - Any person who violates the provisions of this Decree and/or the implementing rules and regulations issued by the BOARD, shall, upon conviction, be punished by a mandatory penalty of three (3) months and one day to one (1) year imprisonment plus a fine of not less than fifty thousand pesos but not more than one hundred thousand pesos. The penalty shall apply whether the person shall have committed the violation either as principal, accomplice or accessory. If the offender is an alien, he shall be deported immediately. The license to operate the movie house, theater, or television station shall also be revoked. Should the offense be committed by a juridical person, the chairman, the president, secretary, treasurer, or the partner responsible therefore, shall be the persons penalized.
Notice the date: Marcos made the decree! In 24 years, Cory Aquino, Ramos, Estrada and Arroyo never so much as suggested repealing the law. And why not? Because they're all the same. Because no matter what post-Marcos presidents claim about "democracy," they will use Marcos' own methods of using government to silence anyone critical or "disrespectful." And Filipinos generally want to have so much "pride" in their country and famous kababayan (the equivalent of "paisan") that most of the lot think this is a good law. Remember how, in their blind worship, they spammed my blog and villified me on their own forums, just for daring to call someone "overrated." It's still a nation where you can hand out a few pesos apiece to children, and you'll instantly have a thousand protesters to make your cause look good.
Ayn Rand's observation is continually and everywhere proved true: "There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power the government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws."
"Tita" Cory, bah. She was no more "Tita" to the nation than Mussolini was "Zio Benito" to his own. Does that mean I can never enter the Philippines again?