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Special Features | National

Court of Appeals blocks 'T3' suspension, acknowledging press freedom concerns
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines - The Court of Appeals on Wednesday stopped the Movie Television Review and Classification Board from continuing to enforce its suspension order on the public affairs program 'T3', an order that ABC Development Corporation (TV5) had called unconstitutional.

In a 13-page resolution, the CA 6th Division said "we are of the view that the immediate and continuous execution of the penalties imposed by the MTRCBs decision bears significant consequences on the freedom of the press and of expression, resulting to irreparable injury to petitioner and the public."

"T3 Kapatid Sagot Kita," a program by the Tulfo brothers Raffy, Erwin and Ben was meted out a 90-day suspension by the MTRCB after the brothers made remarks that were deemed as threats to celebrity couple Raymart Santiago and Claudine Barreto. The three issued the threat a day after their eldest brother Mon, 65, figured in an airport brawl involving the couple and their friends.

The CA said the temporary restraining order it issued against the MTRCB will remain until lifted, or the court has resolved the merits of the petition filed by TV5.

The CA required TV5 to pay a bond of P100,000 before the TRO takes effect.

In seeking relief from the CA, TV5 said the MTRCB suspension was arbitrary and constituted prior restraint on a news and public affairs program, which it said is barred by the Charter.

The network had earlier slapped a three-day suspension on the three hosts, following an inquiry by its internal ethics panel.