Gabriela Women’s Party Representatives Liza Largoza Maza and Luz Ilagan led the filing of a resolution seeking to look into the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board’s “X” classification of at least three productions: “Rights”, “Mendiola” and “A Day in the Life of Gloria”.
“The MTRCB, in rating these movies as “X” has proven itself to be an effective tool for the suppression of free speech and expression. That it chose to classify productions with specific political messages as ‘unfit for public viewing’ betrays the purpose of its continued existence: political repression,” said Rep. Maza.
The GABRIELA solons explained that the MTRCB, was created by virtue of PD1986 under the Marcos administration and is mandated not just to classify but to specifically censor those that the board deems as having the tendency to incite subversion, insurrection, rebellion or sedition against the State as well as those which tend to undermine the faith and confidence of the people in their government and/or the duly constituted authorities.
“The MTRCB operates on a decree created by a regime that was on the verge of collapse. Its intentions then were clear as it is now: to prevent the proliferation of political opinion and expressions of dissent, protecting regimes that are outrightly being rejected by the public.”
They further explained, “Immediately after Martial Law was declared, Marcos issued Letter of Instruction No.13 that banned some 200 supposedly indecent and so-called bomba films but it in fact effectively banned as well, films like “Sakada” and “Sister Stella L” which intensely portrayed the political landscape at that time. This repressive Letter of Intent was institutionalized and strengthened years later with PD 1986, creating the MTRCB.”
“A real democracy should have no room for censors. We in Gabriela call for immediate action on this resolution that would look into how the MTRCB’s mandate for classification has in fact become a tool for political repression, thus violating the Constitutional guarantee to free speech and expression as enshrined in the Bill of Rights.” Maza concluded.
Joining Maza and Ilagan in the filing of the resolution are renowned and award winning independent film makers Carlitos Siguion Reyna, Anna Isabelle Matutina, Kiri Dalena, Chytz Jimenez and RJ Mabilin (A Day in the Life of Gloria) as well as film and artists group Independent Filmakers Cooperative, ST Exposure and Sine Patriyotiko (SIPAT). They arrived at the House of Representatives to witness the filing of the resolution and expressed their support. #