While we weren’t looking, with our attention mostly on last week’s Senate investigation of the ZTE, where Secretary Leandro Mendoza showed us the difference between a blank face and a really, really blank face, the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) rated 13 independent short films, collectively known as RIGHTS, with an “X” — not for public exhibition.
The “X-ing” took place Tuesday, Sept. 18, the same day we first heard Joey de Venecia illustrate how he was told to “back off!” with a finger two inches away from his face, at the Wack-Wack Golf and Country Club, from a transaction potentially as damaging to this administration as “Hello Garci.”
RIGHTS, a series of shorts, so short and running just around the length of regular TV commercials, is a series of independently produced segments fearlessly depicting the human rights situation in the country, and this is how far bold the set goes, no flesh, no skin, no nipple, not one strand of pubic hair is ever seen. The collection, put together by the group Southern Tagalog Exposure with assistance from the human rights NGO Karapatan, aims to support the Free Jonas Burgos Movement’s campaign for the immediate and safe release of not only Burgos, but all others who have similarly disappeared, and under mysterious circumstances, in the term of Gloria Arroyo.
It was scheduled for showing at the Robinson’s Galleria on Sept. 21, the Saturday just past, as part of the Indie Sine’s activity for the 35th anniversary of martial law and the International Day of Peace, but no. All of the 13 were “X-ed” because “Scenes in this film are presented unfairly, one-sided and undermines the faith and confidence of the government and duly constituted authorities, thus not for public exhibition.”
Don’t be startled. You’re reading it correctly. I didn’t make a mistake, or missed out on a phrase, from MTRCB Ma. Consoliza Laguardia. I copied the quote directly from the letter sent to Kristine Kintana, Philippine Independent Filmmakers Cooperative representative, on Sept. 19. Chairman Laguardia signed, or was made to sign, a letter that was grammatically incorrect, and from where a key phrase from Presidential Decree (PD) 1986 had also been dropped, in Sec. 3, (c), ii): “Those which tend to undermine the faith and confidence of the people in their government and/or the duly constituted authorities.”
Kapag may MTRCB sa US, malamang mababawal rin Fahrenheit 911, yung Daily Show, at ang mga late night shows sa US.
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UPDATE: More on this from the Free Jonas Burgos blog.