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MTRCB slaps GMA’s Unang Hirit with P20,000 fine

The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) has slapped a P20,000 fine on GMA Network over a rude interview aired on its morning show Unang Hirit last 7 November.

The phone patch interview showed a disgruntled news anchor Arnold Clavio (pictured) berating Atty. Alfredo Villamor for failing to answer his questions about his client Janet Napoles, alleged mastermind behind the P10-million pork barrel scam. Villamor was hired for another matter – her illegal detention case.

Clavio went so far as to say the lawyer ruined his day. Soon after broadcast, the seasoned journalist did have a bad day after his emotional interview sparked digital fist-shaking and harsh criticism. Two days after, he apologized on air and admitted that he went overboard. The apology can be viewed below.

Clavio got a “grave and serious admonition” from the MTRCB as a result. In addition to the fine, an ad hoc committee ordered him to have “a period of close collaboration of one month” with the MTRCB.  The committee is led by Noel del Pardo with Carmen Musngi and Jose Romero as members.

In addition, GMA executives and “the executive producer, director, writer, public affairs hosts of the show have also been required  to undergo a mandatory seminar to be conducted by MTRCB chair Eugenio Villareal on 10 December and 11.

The MTRCB noted that it has received a two-page letter from GMA containing a draft of a public statement for Unang Hirit and its proposed remedial and restitutive measures.

GMA’s proposed apology admitted that the interview “should have been done differently.”

“The program likewise offers its apologies to Atty. Alfredo Villamor in particular, the public in general, and especially to all the members of the legal profession who may have been offended by the words and actions of Mr. Arnold Clavio,” GMA’s statement read.

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