DZRH: Mocha Uson must take accreditation exam before going back on air

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 24) Controversial social media personality Mocha Uson may still go back on air, but only if she passes a broadcasting exam.

Radio station DZRH suspended this week Uson's 30-minute show, Mocha Uson Blog: Boses Ng Ordinaryong Mamayanang Pilipino, following complaints about the March 18 episode that was simulcast on the radio and cable TV.

Uson is also a blogger, an entertainer and a member of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).

DZRH station manager Atty. Rudolph Jularbal told CNN Philippines Friday that Uson must take a broadcaster's accreditation exam administered by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), the broadcast industry's non-governmental regulatory body, before being allowed to continue her weekly radio program.

DZRH's mother company, the Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC), is part of the KBP, which requires broadcasters of member-stations to be accredited.

On the show, Uson, a strong supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte, attacked Vice President Leni Robredo for sending a video of herself criticizing the government's bloody war on drugs to the annual meeting of the 60th United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

Robredo told the U.N. that targets of police anti-drug operations are beaten if they ask for a search warrant or, worse, have their relatives taken as collateral in a "palit-ulo" or head-swapping scheme if they go into hiding.

Read: Robredo: Warrantless searches, 'palit-ulo' scheme in anti-drug operations

Uson used profane language against Robredo on her show, calling her an "idiot," among other things. She also insulted the Philippine media, accusing  them of selling themselves out for reporting on the issue.

"The way she handled her program did not conform to the company's standards," Jularbal said. "Until we are assured that the program will be conducted properly, we will not air it."

On her social media accounts, Uson said she respected DZRH's decision, but that she stands by her statements.

"B*** talaga si Leni Robredo," Uson said in a Twitter post. "Sinungaling pa dahil yung mga sinabi niya dun sa video niya addressed to the U.N. body na yung patungkol sa 'palit-ulo' at mga statistics sa patayan sa Pilipinas, kasinungalingan 'yun dahil hindi nila niresearch at I stand by what I said."

[Translation: Leni Robredo is really an idiot. She's also a liar because all the things she said in the video addressed to the U.N. body about the "palit-ulo" scheme and the statistics of killings in the Philippines are all fabrications. They did not research those things. And I stand by what I said.]

KBP: Exam about the basics

Uson likewise faces a complaint at the KBP.

Virgie Velasco — performance officer of the KBP Standards Authority, which acts upon complaints against KBP members — told CNN Philippines on Friday that the complainant, who asked to remain anonymous, pointed out Uson's alleged violations of the KBP Broadcast Code, particularly:

  • Art. 4, Sec. 2 - "Programs intended to malign, unfairly criticize or attack a person, natural or juridical, are prohibited."
  • Art. 25, Sec. 5 - "Offensive, obscene, blasphemous, profane, and vulgar double meaning words and phrases are prohibited, even if understood only by a segment of the audience."

Both are considered Grave Offenses under the Code, each with a ₱15,000 fine and a reprimand for Uson and a ₱30,000 fine and a censure for DZRH.

Velasco said the KBP has already sent a formal letter to DZRH on the complaint. Jularbal said he has yet to receive it.

Velasco also said the KBP accreditation exam covers the "basics of broadcast."

"Topics include the elements of communication, the interview process and ethical issues like on-air language," she said.

Velasco said if Uson passes the exam, she will receive an accreditation card that must be renewed every two years.

CNN Philippines is reaching out to the MTRCB for comment. Uson was appointed as MTRCB member in December.

Read: Duterte appoints Mocha Uson as MTRCB board member

She was tasked to help the agency censor material that "in the judgment of the board — applying contemporary Filipino cultural values as standard — are objectionable for being immoral, indecent, contrary to law or good customs."

Related: MTRCB board member Mocha Uson vows to stop soft porn on primetime TV

[Story updated 3:40 p.m., March 24 to include Mocha Uson's statement.]