MANILA, Philippines – A team of psychologists is now looking after the needs of 6-year-old Jan-Jan, the boy who impersonated a macho dancer routine on television show “Willing Willie,” an executive of TV5 network said.
“As for Jan-Jan, we wish to tell the Board that our network, with the approval of his parents, has engaged a team of psychologists to attend to the boy’s needs,” said TV5 executive vice president and chief operating officer Roberto Barreiro in a letter to Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).
A copy of the letter dated April 4 was sent to ABS-CBN News. The MTRCB is now conducting a public hearing on Jan-Jan’s case.
According to Barreiro, it is one of the steps taken by the network with regard to the incident.
The network, said Barreiro, has already implemented measures to prevent the occurrence of any similar incident in the future.
These measures included preparation of stricter guidelines on the appearance and performance of minors on all its programs and appointment of an internal Ombudsman.
“We wish to reiterate that the program was conceptualized to provide wholesome entertainment, bring hope and shine the spotlight on ordinary Filipinos. We provide the participants a venue to show their talents, share their stories, express their messages and make their dreams come true. It is not our desire to humiliate, abuse or take advantage of any participant in the program,” the letter read.
Willie Revillame and his show “Willing Willie” have been accused of child abuse after they allowed Jan-Jan to gyrate and impersonate the body movements of a macho dancer in exchange for P10,000 last March 12.
Amid the uproar, Revillame and the management of TV5 have issued a public apology, but they denied exploiting and abusing the child.
Nonetheless, TV5 said it is “not taking the incident lightly.” It launched an investigation on the incident headed by Barreiro and the network’s internal Ombudsman, lawyer Christine Ona.
Barreiro said they are now “in the final stages of the investigation.”
“We join the Board in its concern for upholding contemporary Filipino cultural values; hence we are extending our full cooperation to the MTRCB in the performance of its mandate,” he said.
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