DSWD calls "Jan-Jan on Willing Willie" incident a "blatant manifestation of child abuse," Jan-Jan dances on show anew
(SPOT.ph) Following the backlash from a viral Youtube clip showing six-year-old Jan-Jan crying while gyrating on Willing Willie, Jan-Jan returned to the TV-5 show yesterday with his family and explained why he was in tears.
He and his father Jojo Estrada said he was crying because he was afraid of former basketball player Bonel Balingit, who was an audience member when Jan-Jan appeared on Willing Willie. Estrada said Jan-Jan described Balingit as a "kapre," a popular mythical creature from Filipino folklore.
Asked who taught Jan-Jan the controversial dance, Estrada pointed to his nephew in the audience, whom he did not identify. His nephew said it was Jan-Jan who wanted to learn the dance, and the boy affirmed this. Jan-Jan’s mother Diana added that the boy has been doing the dance-to the tune of "Careless Whisper"-since he was three years old.
Estrada defended his son’s Willing Willie act and denied allegations that having him perform as such was child abuse. "Kagustuhan ng anak ko ’yon. Siyempre gusto ng anak kong sumikat, mag-artista kaya ’yon ang ginawa niya para maiba siya... Hindi kasalanan ng anak ko na maging gano’n kasi ang pagkakaalam niya, maganda ang ginagawa niya."
("It was my son who wanted to do the dance. Of course he wants to be famous and to join showbiz so he did it to stand out... He’s not at fault because as far as he knows, what he’s doing is good.")
Estrada was visibly proud of his son’s dance, even repeatedly offering to have him dance again on the show. He claimed that many Youtube users and his cousins in the US have commended Jan-Jan’s skills. At one time, people in Quiapo recognized his son and asked to have pictures taken with him, according to Estrada. He said the owners of the computer shop near their house even let Jan-Jan use their facilities for free because they were extremely happy with his dance.
Asked how they spent the P10,000 cash prize Jan-Jan got earlier, Estrada said they bought the boy an mp5 player and bike.
Later, Jan-Jan danced again on the show but Revillame refused to play Dr. Dre’s "The Next Episode," which the boy gyrated to the last time he was there. Instead, they played Michael Jackson’s "Billie Jean." Revillame had to cut short Jan-Jan’s performance when the boy imitated Jackson’s crotch-grab move. Jan-Jan later performed Pitbull’s "I Know You Want Me" with his younger sister and father joining in.
Revillame apologized towards the end of the segment on Jan-Jan. "Kung may na-offend kami, humihingi kami ng paumanhin... Ang importante, nakita nating maging masaya ang pamilyang ito. (If we offended anyone, I’m sorry... What’s important is that we were able to see this family happy.)"
Yesterday, the Department of Social Welfare and Development said the Willing Willie incident was a "blatant manifestation of child abuse," while the Movie and Television Classification Board said they have "referred the matter to the Hearing and Adjudication Committee for appropriate disposition."
Citing these government actions and more, Revillame said, "Ang daming problema ng bansa katulad ng bibitayin, ’yong mga corrupt. Tapos itong maliit na bagay na binastos ko raw ang bata... Wala pong gano’n at hindi ko gagawin ’yan." ("Our country has so many problems like corruption and the three Filipinos on death row in China. This is just a small issue, that I allegedly abused a child. I did not and will not do that.")
Yesterday, TV-5 also issued a statement saying the network, the show producers and Revillame "sincerely and deeply apologize" for the controversial segment.
Jan-Jan’s second appearance on Willing Willie (Part 1)
Jan-Jan’s second appearance on Willing Willie (Part 2)
Jan-Jan’s second appearance on Willing Willie (Part 3)