ABS-CBN denies part in abuse complaints vs ‘Willing Willie’

ABS-CBN released an official statement on Wednesday, April 13, denying their involvement in the controversy involving TV5’s primetime variety show “Willing Willie” and its host Willie Revillame.

This is in response to an insinuation of Revillame’s lawyer, Leonard De Vera, that the host’s former home network may have something to do with the coordinated action against “Willing Willie” over its March 12 episode, wherein the six-year-old contestant Jan-Jan Suan allegedly performed a “macho dance” routine.

In the statement sent to Yahoo! OMG! Philippines and other entertainment media, ABS-CBN head for Corporate Communications Bong Osorio said: “We categorically deny that ABS-CBN has anything to do with the Jan-Jan episode. Records speak for itself. We are not a complainant in this case, and have not made any public statement about it.”

The statement further said: “Indeed, it is incredible that ABS-CBN, as insinuated by Atty. Leonard De Vera, can possibly have control over the countless groups and individuals who have expressed their indignation over the issue, including Facebook, Twitter, major advertisers, government bodies, the church, academic communities, among others. It is a general accusation bereft of any details and is obviously meant to divert the issue by dragging ABS-CBN’s name.”

In a press conference on Wednesday, April 13, De Vera said that a letter by child psychologist Dr. Honey Carandang sent to Movie and Television Review and Classification Grace Poe-Llamanzares triggered the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Commission on Human Rights, and the MTRCB to conduct probes on the said issue.

Carandang, De Vera said in a statement, is “engaged by ABS-CBN as a consultant and resource person in the company’s team building and personnel related activities.” She is also the mother of Ricky Carandang, a former ABS-CBN news anchor.

Revillame’s lawyer also said the three members of the MTRCB adjudication committee are connected with the Kapamilya network. The three inhibited themselves from the “Willing Willie probe late last week.

“All I can give you are facts,” De Vera told members of the press yesterday. “This strange, curious, intriguing convergence of personalities are facts. But I am not prepared to say that ABS-CBN is behind it.”

He added, “You draw your own conclusions. But I am not going to preempt your own thinking. I am not going to think for you. These are the facts. And I put it to you, these things would not have happened if they were not designed by some to happen.”

Meanwhile, the DSWD released a statement on their website today clarifying their stand on the “Willing Willie” controversy.

“There is no partisan politics angle or any hidden agenda as Mr. Revillame and his lawyers alleged. The welfare of Jan-Jan and his family is our primary concern — so despite repeated attempts for copies of the home visit reports, we are not releasing these reports and are keeping them confidential,” the statement said.

It added, “This is one glaring example of the need of society, including parents, to understand the different forms of child abuse. We are working to have clearer guidelines and strong advocacy with the concerned agencies for the protection and promotion of the rights of children. We also wish to reiterate that the Department will respect the privacy of Jan-Jan and his family as counseling and family therapy sessions are being provided by the Department. ”

Through the statement, the DSWD also said that they have been working with Carandang for over 10 years now.

“She is the country’s foremost expert on child psychology and after the DSWD’s social workers conducted home visits to Jan-Jan to verify his status and provide family therapy, we made arrangements to tap her expertise for the provision of child and family counseling sessions. On the appointed date which Mr. Suan agreed to meet Dr. Carandang, he did not show up. The DSWD social workers conducted a follow-up home visit and learned from their neighbors that TV 5 representatives fetched the family and that the house is now padlocked,” the statement said.


Anong sinasabi mo Atty. Leonard de Vera
Facts ba kamo o misleading, ako ba ay tumpak?
Wag ng magturo ng kung sinu-sino pa
Sabihin kay Willie harapin ang mga pahayag na palpak.

Ngayon attorney ipaliwanag nga sa akin
I-broadcast sa TV pagiging “macho dancer” okay lang gawin
Sabi pa’y parang sa pelikulang Burlesk Queen
Umiiyak basta may perang kapalit na pangkain.

Sa manonood na mga bata, na nakadinig ng pahayag nya
Akalain nila, ang mga sinasabi ni Willi ay tama
Lumang kasabihan na ang ginagawa ng mga nakakatanda
Nagiging tama pagdating sa mata ng mga bata.

Ewan ko ba itong isyu na ito’y nakakasawa na
Kung sinu-suno ang mga idinadamay pa
Buti dalhin ito sa korte at doon pag-usapan
Ibalita na lang kung anung desisyon ng hukuman.