Banat to let go of "obscene" column
- Niña S. Abenoja and Mylen P. Manto () - August 17, 2011 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Vice Governor Agnes Magpale welcomed the move of Banat News to pull out one of its “obscene” columns.

Magpale said if this is done Banat News will be exempted from the proposed “anti-tabloid ordinance” which seeks to prohibit the sale and distribution of obscene material.

She said her purpose in creating the ordinance is to keep children from reading obscene publications.

Banat News legal counsel Jesus Isidoro Atoc said he already talked to the management and decision was made to pull out the column “Wildflower” after its last series “Dinagmalan”.

He also added that while column has been toned down, it is not obscene.

He added they are now preparing necessary pleadings to the complaint filed by the Cebu Anti-Indecency Board against Banat News.

Meanwhile, Prosecutor Rodulp Carillo sent a subpoena to Banat News and Superbalita last week to answer the allegations filed by CAIB. Carillo said he is now waiting for the reply of both tabloids before resolving the complaint filed.

The CAIB filed the complaints last August 3 against the two tabloids before the Cebu City Prosecutors’ Office for obscene publications.

CAIB said there are “obscene, indecent, languages and words which are sexually suggestive” in Banat News’ “Wildflower” and in Superbalita’s “From Junquera with Love”.

CAIB said these “obscene columns” violate Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by Presidential Decree 969 on immoral doctrines, obscene publications and exhibitions and City Ordinance No. 1408 as amended

Named respondents for Banat News are its publisher, Juanito Jabat, President Miguel Belmonte and writer Cindy Jones. Superbalita’s editor-in-chief, Michelle So, publisher Julius Neri Jr. and writer Fred Monternel are also named respondents.

Whether or not the ordinance regulating the tabloids with obscene contents will be approved, Magpale said she is pushing for it as a wife and a mother.

“Whether this will pass or not, let it be known to the Cebuano constituents that I did something in my capacity as chair of committee on women, children and family. In this process, if duna’y ma-compromise, tabangi ko ninyo be,” Magpale said, referring to the Cebuanos.

Magpale said they have already issued prior restraint to the tabloid managements, but the latter repeatedly ignored them so they have to do something.

Magpale said there is a law regulating tabloids with the same content but it is not being implemented.

“Lahi ra gyud ug local ordinance. Well, we will push for this one. Pareha bitaw sa ling-am (massage issue), naglisod ta pirmiro. Suwayan nato,” Magpale said. – (FREEMAN)

BANAT BANAT NEWS BANAT NEWS AND SUPERBALITA CEBU ANTI-INDECENCY BOARD CEBU CITY PROSECUTORS CINDY JONES CITY ORDINANCE NO MAGPALE OBSCENE
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