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Remember Jan-Jan and Willing Willie?

By NEWSBREAK

Child psychologist counters child abuse allegations vs her

MANILA, Philippines - Willie Revillame has been back on television following the launch of his new show “Will Time Bigtime” on TV5 on May 14. The legal problems that arose from his previous show “Willing-Willie,” however, are far from over.

Child psychologist Ma. Lourdes “Honey” Carandang (Photo by PURPLE ROMERO)

Child psychologist Ma. Lourdes Carandang and blogger John Silva filed their counter-affidavits on Tuesday, in response to child abuse allegations previously hurled against them by Joe and Diana Suan, the parents of a six-year-old boy whose “macho dancing” on “Willing-Willie” caused the latter to go off air for four weeks starting April 11, 2011. The boy, called Jan-Jan, gyrated while in tears in the game show’s March 12 episode. Revillame later gave him P10,000.

The episode, which went viral, sparked a wave of criticism against the show and raised questions on the ethics of broadcasting. It opened a can of worms as various personalities castigated Revillame and TV5 for allegedly debasing Jan-Jan, and criticized the media and advertising industry as a whole for supporting similar shows.

Carandang saw the episode as a form of child abuse, which she stated in an April 3 letter to Grace Poe Lamanzares, chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB). At the same time, Silva wrote a scathing comment about the issue in his blog johnsilva.blogspot.com. He wrote: “What do these companies, Willing Willie, Channel 5 and pedophiles have in common? They like boys doing macho dancing.”

Silva was referring to advertisers that support “Willing-Willie.” Amid the controversy then, Del Monte Pacific Ltd., Procter & Gamble Philippines and Jollibee Foods Corp. pulled out their ads from the show.

The Suans sued Carandang and Silva for libel. Also charged was Froilan Grate, creator of the Facebook page “Para kay Jan-Jan (Shame on you Willie Revillame!) in April.

Carandang was also charged with child abuse. The expert on child psychology took offense. “It is the height of irony that this unfounded and malicious charge of child abuse was filed against me after I have dedicated my entire professional career and a good part of my life to the protection of the child and the promotion of their rights and welfare,” she said on Tuesday at the Quezon City Halls of Justice.

In her counter-affidavit, Carandang said that she never meant to defame the Suans because what she said in her letter was merely an expert opinion sought by the MTRCB. She explained that she did not even mention the Suans in her letter. Carandang added that the letter was a privileged communication between her and the MTRCB. “I have never used Jan-Jan as a poster child against child abuse,” she stated in her counter-affidavit.

Supporters of Carandang (Photo by PURPLE ROMERO)

A manifesto of support was circulated at the QC Halls of Justice and was signed by Carandang’s supporters from the Center for Family Ministries, the Psychological Association of the Philippines and Church Cafe, a group of cultural workers.

Norma Crisologo Liongoren of Church Cafe said that the case of Jan-Jan should be a reminder to other networks that money should not dictate the quality and kind of shows they produce. “It’s all about money,” she said. “We should have alternative shows.”

Meanwhile, Lorna Kalaw Tirol of the MLAC Institute for Children and Families, an organization that Carandang founded, said that Revillame’s return to television is not a setback in their campaign to push for reforms in the media. “The fight is not over,” she said.—Newsbreak

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  1. What a cacophony of discordant voices. I remember my high school daughter who called “Bantay Bata” upon seeing “rugby boys” also in Jan-Jan’s age bracket, underneath the Commonwealth/Tandang Sora Bridge. And one of those who answered the phone told her to bring it to the local barangay captain.

    What is the difference between those self-abusing “rugby boys” and Jan-Jan? Those rugby boys are more abused than Jan-Jan, but the difference is that Jan-Jan was on TV while those rugby boys were not. So the condemnation was instantaneous and everyone was castigating Willie for his supposed shocking conduct. In the case of Jan-Jan, he brought home some dough after being allegedly abused by Willie. Almost everyone wants to take the cudgels for Jan-Jan, but no one would take the cudgels for those rugby boys, and the Bantay Bata would not even lift its finger to bring the matter to the DSW because those rugby boys are hidden from the camera as to shock our collective conscience, but a pereived abuse on Jan-Jan who likewise voluntarily appeared on TV and with the consent of his legal guardian would want to exact a “pound of flesh” from Willie and his promoters whose pockets look like loaded with much dough. Our sense of outrage is almost symptomatic of our hypocricy.

  2. Warren Concepcion says:

    That’s a good point sir.

  3. Hi, can you get your data right? John Silva did not submit his counter affidavit, it was Dr. Carandang and the other respondent.

  4. thanks warren.. :)

  5. JamesEC says:

    truth is, it was silva and others who named johnjohn and posted his video that really abused the child. they used the kid to launch their personal and subjective-driven outrage against child abuse (actually, against Willie, the issue on child abuse is but incidental). tsk.

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