THE Supreme Court (SC) has turned down a petition filed by the government’s television regulation body questioning a ruling that voided the sanctions it imposed on the show of the Tulfo brothers for their on-air rants following the mauling of their eldest sibling at an airport.
In a July 6 decision written by Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando and published online on Aug. 8, the high court’s First Division denied the petition for review filed by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) against the March 7, 2013 ruling of the Court of Appeals (CA) that nullified its May 30, 2012 decision to suspend the show “T3 Kapatid Sagot Kita” aired on TV5.
Aside from the suspension, the MTRCB had also imposed a fine of PHP100,000 on the show and ordered it to be placed under probation or on a per-episode permit basis.
“MTRCB did not have to impose any longer the three-month suspension, fine and probationary status as TV5’s act of self-regulation in accordance with its charter was sufficient enough. The court said that TV5 immediately suspended the Tulfo brothers with a warning that a similar act in the future would be treated more severely, if not meted the penalty of termination from TV5,” the SC said.
The SC also affirmed that the utterances complained of and penalized by the MTRCB “are not fighting words” and were not sufficient to stir and constitute “a clear and present danger to the state that is grave and imminent”.
During the program’s May 7, 2012 episode, siblings Raffy, Ben, and Erwin Tulfo voiced out their ire after their eldest sibling Ramon figured in a brawl with then celebrity couple Raymart Santiago and Claudine Barretto at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.
Ramon was purportedly attacked by the couple and their companions after he recorded their outburst at the airport staff.
The Tulfo brothers vowed to get even with the couple, prompting the MTRCB to claim that the utterances were a violation of ethical standards.
They subsequently apologized but despite a three-episode suspension sanction handed down by TV5, the MTRCB pursued the case and eventually ordered an initial 20-day preventive suspension a subsequent three-month suspension, and a fine.
The MTRCB’s move prompted TV5 to take the case to the courts. Philippine News Agency