MANILA – The Court of Appeals (CA) Thirteenth Division ordered for the ‘arrest and arraignment’ of game show host Willie Revillame over a child abuse complaint filed against him by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The DSWD filed the complaint in 2011 at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) in connection to the March 12, 2011 episode of Revillame’s previous variety show “Willing Willie” when he was still under TV5.
In the said episode, the television host allegedly encouraged a six-year-old boy to do “macho-dancing” (lewd dancing) during one of the show’s segment. The child was even raised on a platform and was joined by the show’s female dancers in his performance.
Quezon City RTC Branch 86 Judge Roberto Buenaventura then ordered for Revillame’s arrest on October 4, 2013 on grounds of child abuse and exploitation.
The host’s camp, however, asserted that it was not his intention to abuse the boy and claimed that his freedom of expression was restrained in the case. They also clarified that he only referenced to the 1977 film “Burlesk Queen.”
Revillame then filed a petition before the CA but the Court only affirmed the lower court’s decision after finding ‘probable cause for the petitioner’s commission of a crime.’
The CA’s resolution, which was penned by Associate Justice Ma. Luisa Quijano-Padilla on September 7, ordered for the host’s ‘arrest and arraignment’ so that ‘this case may properly proceed to trial, where the merits of both parties’ evidence and allegations may be weighed.’
The appellate Court also clarified that Judge Buenaventura have not committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing the warrant of arrest in 2013.
Following the incident, “Willing Willie” was defunct come April 2011, airing for only six months. It was reformatted as “Wil Time Bigtime” after a month and was eventually replaced by “Wowowillie” in 2013.