Jan-Jan’s parents file libel suit against child psychologist and two bloggers
(SPOT.ph) The parents of Jan-Jan Suan, the six-year-old boy who cried while he gyrated on Willing Willie, filed a libel suit against child psychologist Honey Carandang yesterday, reports Inquirer.net. Joe and Diana Suan also sued two bloggers, National Museum senior consultant John Silva and educator and environmentalist Froilan Grate, plus others yet to be named.
The couple said the allegations of child abuse that stemmed from the show’s controversial March 12 episode caused them "dishonor, discredit and contempt." Their lawyer John Pineda said they will not allow the boy "to be exploited by certain people with a hidden agenda." Inquirer.net quoted him: "We strongly object to his being used as a poster boy for child abuse. He was never abused. We will not allow anyone to abuse him."
In their complaint, the Suans said Carandang neither talked to Jan-Jan nor conducted an examination before she made a "hasty conclusion of child abuse" in her earlier letter to Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) Chair Grace Poe-Llamanzares.
Several companies have pulled out their ad placements on Willing Willie after the backlash that followed the March 12 episode. Willie Revillame’s lawyer Leonard de Vera said yesterday that there was a "demolition job" on the show host, reports Inquirer.net.
On whether or not Revillame’s former employer ABS-CBN was behind it, de Vera said, "Draw your own conclusions." He added that Carandang "did not disclose to the MTRCB that she’s a paid consultant and lecturer of ABS-CBN."
ABS-CBN categorically denied that it has anything to do with the controversy. "Indeed, it is incredible that ABS-CBN, as insinuated by Atty. Leonard de Vera, can possibly have control over the countless groups and individuals who have expressed their indignation over the issue, including Facebook (and) Twitter (users), major advertisers, government bodies, the Church (and) academic communities, among others," ABS-CBN Corporate Communications Head Bong Osorio said.
Meanwhile, Joe Suan said he "felt shamed" because of Grate’s statement that he was disappointed with the couple "for subjecting their child to this horrible experience." Grate put up the Facebook fan page "Para kay Jan-jan (Shame on you Willie Revillame!)" which has over 13,000 likes as of posting time.
Inquirer.net quoted Suan: "I received a lot of phone calls and messages in my Facebook account cursing me for allowing our son to be abused. We now seldom go out of the house to prevent any attempt to do us harm."
Grate said, according to Inquirer.net, "We will continue to stand up for what we believe is right. Although the case was filed by the Suans, we believe that Revillame and TV5 are behind it. It’s the first time in our history that a media company filed a libel suit against an individual."
As for Silva, the couple sued him for supposedly saying that Revillame and the TV5 network were pedophiles, reports Inquirer.net. Silva denied claiming such and told ANC’s Top Story that he "only responded" to what he saw. ABS-CBN News quoted Silva’s earlier blog entry: "What do these companies, Willing Willie, Channel 5 and pedophiles have in common? They like boys doing macho dancing."
For more on this story, log on to Inquirer.net and ABS-CBN News.