THE Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) yesterday washed its hands of the airing of a negative political advertisement on television against frontrunner presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte even as its website was defaced by a group calling itself “Pinoy Hackers”.
MTRCB chief Atty.Eugenio Toto H. Villareal also assured the public that the MTRCB is reviewing its security measures to prevent the cyber attack on its website in the aftermath of the airing of the Anti Duterte tv ad.
The cyber attack on the MTRCB website, which appears to have been perpetrated by “Pinoy Hackers,” happened following the release of a negative ad against Duterte.
In its message, the group lambasted the MTRCB for allegedly turning a blind eye to what it called a “malicious political mudslinging ad.”
An ad paid for by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, aired on ABS-CBN, targeted the Davao City mayor, showing children reacting to some of Duterte’s controversial remarks and acts, including his cursing of Pope Francis and his comment about the rape-slaying of an Australian missionary.
A different negative ad about Duterte also aired on GMA Network.
“Naglabas ng isang paid ad ang isang politiko at ito ay ipinakalat ng isang news giant. Anong nangyari sa taga-monitor, taga-salang at taga-bantay ng mga ipinopost sa TV at sa print media?” the Pinoy Hackers said. “Ginawa itong MTRCB para magsilbing taga-implementa ng ‘FAIR AND UNBIASED’ reporting ng mga TV, print and movie industry pero nagsawalang-kibo (literal, they turned a BLIND EYE) to that malicious political mudslinging ad.
“Ano pang silbi mo MTRCB? Isa ka din ba sa mga simpleng nagpapalamon sa pera ng bayan?” the group added.
In a statement, ABS-CBN stressed that it had nothing to do with the production of the political ad, and that it was “duty bound to air a legitimate ad.”
“The controversial political advertisement being talked about in social media, which aired on ABS-CBN, was produced and paid for by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV. Prior to the airing, ABS-CBN’s ethics committee reviewed the content of the material, which complies with the requirements of pertinent election laws,” the company said.
ABS-CBN pointed out that Comelec guidelines prohibit radio and television stations from discriminating against any candidate or political party in the sale of air time.
“By airing the said commercial, ABS-CBN is being consistent with COMELEC guidelines, which prohibit radio or television stations to discriminate in the sale of air time against any political party or candidate. We are duty bound to air a legitimate ad.”
The running mate of Duterte, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, on Friday said he has secured a temporary restraining order (TRO) from a Taguig court against the negative ad. The TRO is for 72 hours or 3 days.