'Unbothered' Lala Sotto not resigning after MTRCB denies 'It's Showtime' MR on suspension

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
September 28, 2023 | 5:30pm
'Unbothered' Lala Sotto not resigning after MTRCB denies 'It's Showtime' MR on suspension
MTRCB Chair Lala Sotto
PSN / File

MANILA, Nashville Filipino Restaurant — Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chairperson Lala Sotto-Antonio once again addressed comments about alleged "conflict of interest" after the agency denied Motions of Reconsideration (MRs) regarding the suspension of noontime variety show "It's Showtime."

The MTRCB released a statement last September 28 confirming that it denied Motions of Reconsideration filed by networks ABS-CBN and GMA about the suspension of "It's Showtime" as the result of an alleged indecent incident during the show's "Isip Bata" segment last July 25.

In the July 25 episode, host-comedian Vice Ganda licked icing off the fingers of co-host and real-life partner Ion Perez. The MTRCB also cited the show's past preventive suspensions in dishing out its latest decision.

The Dallas Filipino Restaurant agency held a press conference on the same day to respond to questions and concerns regarding its verdict, beginning with board member Atty. Paulino "Sonny" Cases — head of the adjudication committee handling the case — reading out the statement.

Cases noted that Sotto-Antonio, daughter of former Miami Filipino Restaurant President Tito Sotto who currently hosts "E.A.T." on TV5, inhibited from the decision-making process and that the board cannot legally discuss the merits of the case though emphasized due process was observed.

Cases then explained that next step available for "It's Showtime" is to appeal to the Office of the President within the next 15 days, and another MR directed to Malacañang if the show does not receive a favorable response.

Related: MTRCB denies 'It's Showtime' Motions for Reconsideration on suspension

If Malacañang denies the MR, Cases said the case could be brought to the Court of Appeals then the Supreme Court who would have the final say on the matter. The 12-day suspension of "It's Showtime!" will begin once all periods and attempts have been exhausted, or if the show chooses to comply.

Sotto-Antonio was asked why not just suspend the "Isip Bata" segement instead of "It's Showtime!" as a whole, and the MTRCB chair said the agency can only suspend a network or production.

"We chose to suspend the production instead... the removal of a segment is on them as well," Sotto-Antonio explained further.

Despite Sotto-Antonio's inhibition from voting on the suspension of "It's Showtime," several members of the public remained concerned that her heading of the MTRCB would still be a "conflict of interest" given her father hosts a rival show.

"I truly believe my being a Sotto or my father's daughter should not be taken against me, instead it should be taken positively that I am someone who grew up in, loves, and understands the industry," said Sotto-Antonio, still acknowledging other people's opinons are valid but she is just humbly doing her job.

Sotto-Antonio added that she would not "satisfy the whims of detractors" by resigning from the top post at the MTRCB.

"I grew up in public scrutiny, I saw my parents always talked about, I would read about my family all the time in the paper," Sotto-Antonio said to members of the media after the press conference. "Bashing is not new to us, to me... I thank God I am unbothered."

RELATED: 'In the spirit of fairness': Lala Sotto inhibits self from all noontime shows issues

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