Willie Revillame has formally been charged with violating Republic Act 7610, or the anti-child abuse law, due to the March 12, 2011 episode of his former show, Willing Willie, which featured a six-year-old boy named Jan-Jan gyrating in a promiscuous manner.

The Philippine Star reports that the case, which will be handled by Judge Roberto Buenaventura of the Regional Trial Court Branch 86, was filed after Assistant City Prosecutor Benjamin Samson found merit in the complaint that was filed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Council for the Welfare of Children.

In a statement sent by Willie’s camp to PEP.ph, Atty. Leonard de Vera claimed that the charges have no basis since Jan-Jan’s performance was not malicious.

“The ‘body wave’ dance of the child performed during the March 12, 2011 episode of Willing Willie is no different than those performed by other children in different shows like Goin’ Bulilit and Showtime. This dance is widely accepted and performed in various social gatherings. Yet, only Revillame’s show was singled out and vilified in the media and now, the sole basis for prosecuting Revillame,” he said.

Atty. De Vera also added that Jan-Jan has been performing the dance in other shows and talent competitions before he even joined Willing Willie. He likewise said that the child psychologist whom Jan-Jan consulted after the incident did not find “any form of abuse,” and that the prosecutors were only relying on DSWD Secretary Corazon Soliman’s perception of child abuse.

“There is no reason why an innocent performance by a child, which he has been doing for years, will be branded as child abuse just because he performed this routine in Revillame’s show.”

(Photo courtesy of PEP.ph)

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