In a statement released on March 29, the Commission said it strongly condemns the episode since it exploited the "child’s innocence and demeans his inherent dignity for entertainment's sake."
It added that "the multiple pressures exerted on Jan-Jan by the TV program’s host, audience, and his parents to perform a humiliating act in exchange for ten thousand pesos constitute child abuse as defined in Section 10 of R.A. No. 7610 or “Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act.”
The March 12 episode of Willing Willie had 6 year-old JanJan Suan as a contestant where the boy did a macho dancing routine as his talent. A copy of the episode was uploaded on Youtube where it was flooded with criticisms from concerned parents. (Check out the video HERE.) The video also went viral in social media sites and as of today, it already gained more than half a million hits.
Here's a copy of the CHR press release posted on Facebook by journalist Ellen Tordesillas:
Commission on Human Rights
29 March 2011
CHR on Child Abuse in the TV program Willing Willie
The Commission on Human Rights strongly condemns the “Willing Willie” episode aired on March 12, 2011 wherein a 6-year old boy named Jan-Jan Suan performed a “macho-dancing routine”. This is an exploitation of the child’s innocence and demeans his inherent dignity for entertainment's sake.
The multiple pressures exerted on Jan-Jan by the TV program’s host, audience, and his parents to perform a humiliating act in exchange for ten thousand pesos constitute child abuse as defined in Section 10 of R.A. No. 7610 or “Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act.” It provides that:
Other Acts of Neglect, Abuse, Cruelty or Exploitation and Other Conditions Prejudicial to the Child's Development. –
(a) Any person who shall commit any other acts of child abuse, cruelty or exploitation or to be responsible for other conditions prejudicial to the child's development including those covered by Article 59 of Presidential Decree No. 603, as amended, but not covered by the Revised Penal Code, as amended, shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its minimum period.
The willingness of Jan-Jan’s parents to expose him, both in private and public, to a humiliating and degrading situation is child abuse. The Commission is also deeply alarmed that the abuse suffered by Jan-Jan was seen on national television and that its videos are being repeatedly watched by the public, including children.
The Commission will investigate this incident in order to identify the person/s liable and to recommend proper legal actions against them. The Commission will also issue recommendations to relevant private, especially TV5, and public agencies in order to prevent similar incidents from happening again. The Commission also calls upon the relevant government offices such as the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the Department of Justice to undertake the appropriate actions to address this incidence of child abuse and to provide the necessary relief to Jan-Jan.
LORETTA ANN P. ROSALES
MA. VICTORIA V. CARDONA
Focal Commissioner for Children