Cayetano wins TRO vs anti-Duterte ads, but word war goes on | Inquirer News

Cayetano wins TRO vs anti-Duterte ads, but word war goes on

A WORD war between vice presidential candidates Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV has ensued following the airing on Thursday of the negative political advertisement that targeted Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

The Regional Trial Court in Taguig City, bailiwick of Cayetano’s spouse, Mayor Lani Cayetano, yesterday issued a 72-hour temporary restraining order (TRO) that stopped TV stations from airing the political campaign ad.


The 30-second TV spot was shown Thursday over ABS-CBN TV, which said the commercial was paid for by Trillanes.


The TV ad featured clips of Duterte’s controversial actions, including his cursing of the Pope (with the expletive bleeped out), his threat to kill people, his rape joke about an Australian missionary, and his praise of the New People’s Army.

These were interspersed with shots of children asking if this is what the people want and whether this set a good example.

One child said it was wrong to kill, another said it was wrong to disrespect women, and a third said children should be taught the right thing.

Minors in black prop

In a three-page order, Branch 69 Judge Lorifel Lacap Pahimna said she issued the TRO because the anti-Duterte ad showed “minors being used in black propaganda.”

The judge said Section 2, Article 8 of the 2007 Broadcast Code stated that no program or sponsor “shall be allowed to manifestly favor or oppose any candidate or political party.”


Since the advertisements “do manifestly oppose a candidate,” she said “the court cannot allow minor children to be used in such black propaganda.”

“Thus, [the ads] must be suppressed at once as repeated broadcasting of the same will be irreparably inimical to the children’s welfare and interest,” she said.

Cayetano, Duterte’s running mate, had asked for the TRO. Pahimna set the case for raffle at 2 p.m. on May 16.

“Thus, respondents are hereby enjoined to further broadcast that advertisement using minor children and paid for and by [Trillanes], including any other future advertisements of similar nature,” said Pahimna.

In a statement, Trillanes said it was hypocritical for supporters of Duterte to complain about the use of children in a TV ad that had the youngsters questioning the mayor’s actions on the campaign trail.

Trillanes pointed out that Duterte’s supporters were all too happy to laugh at his jokes about rape and his penis, which children could easily hear.

“But wait, ‘Dutertards’ are suddenly concerned about children? Yet they laugh every time Duterte cusses and jokes about his penis and rape not realizing that children are listening, too?” he said.

In social media, ‘Dutertards’ refer to Duterte fanatics.

“Such hypocrisy, right? Now, that’s what the ad is all about, too,” Trillanes pointed out.

Presidential candidate Grace Poe, who used to head the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, said the TV ad did not show anything untrue.

The senator said that when she headed the board, what was important was to show the truth without being vulgar. But if any vulgarity would be shown because it was the truth, it has to have redeeming social value.

“And I think this was apparent in what had been shown. It is up to the people to review it so that they would understand what really happened. I don’t think the ad showed anything that was untrue,” she told reporters in Bulacan.

Trillanes also took time to explain why he used children in the TV ad targeting Duterte, who leads by double digits in surveys on presidential preference.

“The children were purposely used to hammer the message that they should always be part of the consideration in our choice of leaders of the country not only because it is for their future but also because they will emulate these leaders,” he said.

The senator added that the children were shown in a positive light and all pertinent laws were followed in making the ad.

Trillanes said he paid for the TV ads using the funds he had raised through campaign contributions.

“I will report this in detail when I submit my SOCE (Statement of Contributions and Expenditures),” he said.

He also pointed out that compared with the other candidates, he had spent only a fraction for ad expenses. Thus, he said it was was ironic that he was now being questioned for spending on the anti-Duterte ads.


But Cayetano slammmed Malacanang for allegedly conspiring with political teams of presidential candidates Poe and Mar Roxas to make a last minute destabilizing attacks against Duterte.

“I am confirming to you that this is a conspiracy between the Palace, Poe, Roxas, their supporters, some supporters and, of course, with the participation of some people in the management of a network,” said Cayetano at a press conference in Taguig City.

“This is a panic attack because [in] the past two weeks, [corruption] allegations on the secret bank accounts did not work,” he said, referring to Duterte’s 17 bank accounts in three banks.

He claimed that the looming Duterte victory, shown in all surveys, had created unrest among the “ruling oligarchs.”

“Oligarchs are used to have control over politicians in this country. It’s the fear of the unknown,” said Cayetano.

Although Duterte has received death threats, the miting de avance will still push through in Rizal Park from 5 p.m. to

10 p.m. on Saturday, said Cayetano.

“We have received assassination threat against Mayor Duterte,” he added.

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The Comelec, for its part, cannot stop the airing of the anti-Duterte TV ad.

“Under our rules, what the Comelec regulates are the duration of the ads, duration of the broadcast ads specifically on per station basis, that’s why we have ad time limits. But we do not regulate contents, whether positive or negative or no matter what actors are used—whether old people or children. We do not meddle with its contents,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said in an interview with reporters. With a report from Tina G. Santos


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