willie_janjan_inside.jpgWillie Revillame is once again in the middle of a hot issue being discussed all over the web. This time, talk involves not just him, but also a guest on his noontime show, Willing Willie. On March 12, 2011, a guest on the show was egged on by Willie to perform a rather suggestive dance so that he could win a cash prize. The circumstances that made this case unique was that Jan-Jan, the guest, was six years old. A video posted on YouTube showed that the child was weeping while he was performing, and the in-studio audience seemed unconcerned about his discomfort.

Corazon "Dinky" Soliman, Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), voiced her displeasure in an official statement posted on the DSWD website. "The sequence shows the boy gyrating in a distasteful manner with the audience, including the host (Willie Revillame), manifesting no evidence of concern or alarm for the child."

The statement went on to say that "putting pressure on children to do acts such as mimicking adult sexy dances, in exchange for a certain amount of money, and at the expense of being laughed at and ridiculed by hundreds of people, clearly traumatizes the child. This is a clear form of child abuse and will not be tolerated by the DSWD." Secretary Soliman then sent a letter to Manny Pangilinan, the president of the network that airs Willing Willie. In her letter, Secretary Soliman cited Republic Act 7610, the act that protects children from abuse, exploitation, and discrimination. She says that given the definitions in RA 7610, "it is unmistakable that what happened last 12 March 2011 to Jan-Jan Estrada was child abuse."

Opinion is divided on this issue. In an article on SPOT.ph, a reader named proud kapatid said, "ipagpatuloy mo lang Willie ang pagpapasaya at pagtulong mo sa masang Pilipino! walang masama sa ginawa mo (Willie, continue helping and making the Filipino masses happy! There is nothing wrong with what you're doing)!"

Timmy, another SPOT.ph reader said, "Shame on you Willie Revillame."

We want to know what you think about this latest controversy involving Willie Revillame and his show. Do you think that what he did was cruel or cute?

(Screencap courtesy of joyloveangel on YouTube)
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