CHR sets probe vs. ‘child abuse’ issue in ‘Willing Willie’

MANILA, March 29 (PNA) – The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said Tuesday it is poised to investigate the reported “forced dance” number of a child in the television program of actor Willie Revillame.

CHR Chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales said the investigation aims to identify the possible liability of Revillame and ABC TV5 and to recommend proper legal actions against them, if warranted.

Rosales said they will also issue recommendations to relevant private and public agencies in order to prevent similar incidents from happening again.

The CHR head also called upon relevant government offices such as the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and Department of Justice (DOJ) to undertake the appropriate actions to address this incidence of child abuse and to provide the necessary relief of the child identified as Jan-Jan Suan.

Rosales said the CHR strongly condemned the “Willing Willie” episode aired on March 12, 2011 wherein six-year-old Suan performed a “macho-dancing routine.”

“This is an exploitation of the child’s innocence and demeans his inherent dignity for entertainment’s sake,” Rosales said.

She noted that 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 P10,000 constitute child abuse as defined in Section 10 of Republic Act No. 7610 or “Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act.” (PNA)

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