By Ellen Tordesillas, VERA Files
For Yahoo! Southeast Asia
The Commission on Human Rights today strongly condemned the controversial March 12,2011 episode the "Willing Willie" saying it constitute child abuse.
In a statement, Chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales and Commissioner for Children Ma. Victoria Cardona said they will investigate the incident and recommend proper legal actions against those responsible for what they described as an exploitation of the child's innocence and demeans his inherent dignity for entertainment's sake."
CHR said the "multiple pressures exerted on Jan-Jan by the TV program's host, audience, and his parents to perform a humiliating act in exchange for ten thousand pesos constitute child abuse as defined in Section 10 of R.A. No. 7610 or "Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act."
The law provides that "any person who shall commit any other acts of child abuse, cruelty or exploitation or to be responsible for other conditions prejudicial to the child's development ..shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its minimum period."
"The willingness of Jan-Jan's parents to expose him, both in private and public, to a humiliating and degrading situation is child abuse. The Commission is also deeply alarmed that the abuse suffered by Jan-Jan was seen on national television and that its videos are being repeatedly watched by the public, including children," CHR said..
The Commission said they will investigate this incident in order to identify the person/s liable and to recommend proper legal actions against them.
The statement further said,"The Commission will also issue recommendations to relevant private, especially TV5, and public agencies in order to prevent similar incidents from happening again."
They called on relevant government offices such as the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the Department of Justice to undertake the appropriate actions to address this incidence of child abuse and to provide the necessary relief to Jan-Jan.
VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for "true."