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Lala Sotto details how she got appointed as MTRCB chair

by Julie E. Bonifacio
Jul 29, 2022
Lala Sotto, MTRCB
Lala Sotto on mixed reactions to her appointment as MTRCB chair: “Ah, hindi po kasi ako nagpi-pay attention to negativity because I want to remain positive, faithful and thankful. So, I have no reaction to that. I grew up naman na naririnig ko at nababasa ko left and right ang bashing. The best way to deal with it is not to deal with it at all.”
PHOTO/S: Julie Bonifacio

Masayang ibinalita ng bagong chairperson ng Motion and Television Review and Classification Board chairwoman na si Diorella Maria “Lala” Sotto-Antonio na naging smooth ang transition ng pagpasok niya sa kauna-unahang ahensya ng gobyerno na hahawakan niya.

Read: Appointment ni Johnny Revilla bilang MTRCB chair, binawi? Lala Sotto, itinalaga sa parehong posisyon

Pinalitan ni Lala bilang chairman ng Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) si Atty. Jeremiah Jaro. Pawang papuri naman ang sinabi ni Lala sa dating MTRCB chairman dahil sa kooperasyon at suportang ibinigay nito sa kanya.

Read: MTRCB Chairperson Atty. Jeremiah Jaro optimistic about return of movies, TV shows to "new normal"

“The former chairman has been generous with his insights. Naging very smooth yung aming naging transition and I think that helped a lot. He reached out even two weeks ago.

“The moment he learned that I took my oath, [that] I was a part of the MTRCB, he reached out already,” pahayag ni Lala.

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Very thankful din si Lala na ganoon ka-supportive sa kanya si Atty. Jaro sa kanya kaya naging madali ang pagsasalin nila ng posisyon sa MTRCB.

“So, right now, I’m still in the process of that. Hindi naman sa pamamana, pero ngayon kinakaharap ko na yung mga naiwan niya na gustong ituloy. Yung magagandang talks pinagpapatuloy namin.

“But he promised me that he’s just one call away.

“And I’m blessed din kasi yung naabutan ko na board members is a working board. So, lahat sila talagang nagmamalasakit sa MTRCB, sa ating country, and sa industry. Everybody has been very helpful and very welcoming,” sabi pa niya.

Nakausap ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at ilan pang taga-media si Lala sa Mario’s restaurant sa Tomas Morato, Quezon City, noong Miyerkules, July 27, 2022.

HOW SHE WAS APPOINTED AS MTRCB CHAIR

Si Lala ay ang pangalawa sa apat na mga anak ni former Senate President Tito Sotto at ng aktres na si Helen Gamboa.

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Siya ay nagsilbing konsehal sa District 6 at District 3 ng Quezon City. May kabuuang 18 taon ang tig-tatlong termino niya sa nasabing mga distrito.

Ibinahagi ni Lala ang detalye ng kanyang appointment sa MTRCB.

Kuwento ni Lala, “I got the call from Malacañang. I was so surprised. Because tinawagan nila ako from the Office of the Presidential Management Staff asking me to attend the July 5 oathtaking.

“Can you imagine how I felt?

“I was positive for COVID. So, hiyang-hiya naman ako to tell them na I couldn’t make it because I had to complete the seven-day quarantine that the Quezon City health department gave me and it was to be completed on July 5.

“So, they called again few days later and they asked me attend the July 7 oathtaking at doon ako nakapunta, finally.”

Hindi raw niya alam na nominated siya for the position, and at the same time, mapipili as MTRCB chairperson.

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“I was asked to submit a CV [curriculum vitae] form prior to that. But, hindi ko akalain na bigla na lang tatawagan at sasabihin na mag-o-oathtaking ka na as MTRCB chair.

“So, nagulat talaga ako.”

Pero diin ni Lala, “Pero like I said, while this is a big surprise to me, a pleasant surprise to me, I’m ready to take on the job.”

Prior sa submission ng kanyang CV, nabalitaan na niya ang tungkol sa pagtatalaga ng bagong MTRCB head.

“Well, may talks kasi na MTRCB [position] before I submitted a CV form. Bago ako mag-positive. Just like a week apart.”

Pumasok ba sa isip niya kung bakit siya ang napili bilang MTRCB Chairperson?

“Bakit ako? Uh, wala naman po akong naisip na ganyan. Uhm, I’m just confident na siguro… Well, napapag-usapan… And then, meron naman akong sinubmit na CV form,” sagot ni Lala.

Sabay binanggit ni Lala na hindi siya baguhan sa public service.

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“Naririnig naman siguro kahit papa'no yung aking paninibilhan bilang konsehal sa loob ng 18 taon. And then my foundation has been there bilang itinatag noong 2000.

“Plus, I don’t deny the fact that this is such a great blessing to be my father’s daughter. So, I don’t know po kung ano yung naging basis nila

“Basta’t nagpapasalamat lang ako sa Panginoon sa oportunidad na ibinigay sa akin at sa ating mahal na Pangulo, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., sa pag-atang sa akin bilang maging pinuno ng MTRCB.”

Sa kanyang pag-upo bilang MTRCB head, sinabi ni Lala na walang ibinigay na specific instructions sa kanya si Pangulong Marcos Jr.

Aniya, “Ay, wala po. I have not received any direct or specific instruction from our President. I’m sure in the coming days.”

Ano ang bitbit niya pagpasok sa MTRCB from her 18 years of experience as councilor sa District 3 and 6 ng Quezon City?

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“My passion of being in service to the Filipinos. I think my passion for public service will be with me wherever I go.

“So, yung pagmamalasakit mo sa bayan mo, sa mga kapwa mo Pilipino, lalung-lalo na sa kabataan, hindi mawawala yun. Dala-dala ko yun. Tsaka yung mga natutunan ko rin siyempre bilang konsehal ng 18 taon.”

Sa appointment niya, merong natuwa at meron ding hindi. May reaksiyon ba siya ukol dito?

Sabi ni Lala, “Ah, hindi po kasi ako nagpi-pay attention to negativity because I want to remain positive, faithful, and thankful. So, I have no reaction to that.

“I grew up naman na naririnig ko at nababasa ko left and right ang bashing. The best way to deal with it is not to deal with it at all.”

READ: Appointment ni Johnny Revilla bilang MTRCB chair, binawi? Lala Sotto, itinalaga sa parehong posisyon

READ: The Sotto kids: a bunch of good-looking cousins

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ON ISSUES CONCERNING ONLINE CONTENT

May inihanda na ba siyang plano sa pag-upo niya sa MTRCB?

“I cannot say that now because wala naman akong pinaplano after MTRCB. I just want to do a great job that is glorifying to the Lord.”

Isa sa matagal nang debate ay kung saklaw ba ng MTRCB ang pag-regulate sa online content.

May batas bang nag-uutos na puwedeng manghimasok ang MTRCB sa mga online streaming service and production companies?

Sagot ni Lala, “In my opinion, my being for or against a particular bill, or a certain measure, will never depend on the title. It would always be dependent on the veracity, on the provisions that come with the bill, with the law. So, I have yet to see.

“But in general, para sa akin, I hope that it will not be taken against me. It is just my humble opinion that, yes, makakatulong siguro, mas makakaganda siguro kung mae-expand yung jurisdiction ng MTRCB.

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“Especially, I want MTRCB to be known as the partner parent at home of parents especially who are busy working, making livelihood for their families. I want to ensure, that’s the main goal, to ensure the safe viewing experience for our children."

Sa ngayon, ang masisiguro ni Lala ay nais niyang magkaroon ng maayos na pakikipag-usap sa online streaming companies.

“Yes, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve been in a short talk with Netflix already. We started meeting also with Amazon Prime and I’m looking forward to a harmonious, healthy working relationship with them because I know that the MTRCB is very limited.

“Our jurisdiction is limited to the motion pictures and television programs. We do not have the jurisdiction over social media and online streamers.

“So, I think that’s the way that we can work harmoniously is to work with them. To be open with them and at least share our best practices and open our communication lines with them.”

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ON SEXY THEMES FOR ONLINE MOVIES

Nang hingan ng opinyon tungkol sa sexy films na ipinalalabas sa ilang online streaming sites, ang pagkakaroon ng maayos na komunikasyon din ang idiniin ni Lala.

“Again, with regards to the local streamers, I choose to work with them. So, I’m open for dialogues and open communication with them.

“Hindi pa ako nakakapanood, but yeah, I’m looking forward to working with them to because I’m sure they’re very open.

"Tita June Rufino naman is very close to our family and already reached out [to me], yeah.

"She told me na if there’s anything I want to talk about, she’s just one call away. So, I’m comfortable knowing that Tita June is there.”

Si June Rufino ang production head ng Vivamax, ang online streaming and production arm ng Viva Entertainment.

Sa puntong ito, ipinaliwanag ni Lala ang masalimuot na isyu sa mandato ng MTRCB pagdating sa digital world.

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“Wala pong jurisdiction ang MTRCB over the social media and online streamers. So, we are limited to television programs and motion pictures.

"But as I’'ve said, I don't see anything wrong working with them.

“So, I’m looking forward to a harmonious and open working relationship with the online streamers.

“We have to follow the Presidential Decree of 1986 which is the MTRCB charter. So, we are limited to that, as of now.”

ON HER STYLE OF LEADERSHIP

Magiging mas mahigpit kaya ang MTRCB ngayon under her jurisdiction?

Sagot ni Lala, “I cannot say mas mahigpit because I wouldn’t want to compare my being a chairman to the previous ones.

“I feel I have big shoes to fill, actually, because I chose to emulate na lang instead ang ating butihing senadora, Senator Grace Poe. And also, the chairmen who came after her did a great job din naman.

“So, alam ko lahat magaganda ang mga nagawa sa MTRCB.”

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Inihayag din ng bagong MTRCB Chair na may nakaplano nang programa ang kanyang ahensya para sa mga taga-movie industry.

“We have plans marami kaming mga programang nakalinya, nakalaan para sa MTRCB.

“However, hindi ko pa siya puwedeng banggitin ngayon kasi ayoko namang pangunahan. Kasi, hindi ko pa rin nako-consult ang aming board members.

"So, wala pang final but marami po tayong naiisip na magugustuhan na programa para sa MTRCB at sa industriya."

Excited na raw siyang harapin ang bagong trabaho.

“With regards to the industry, I’m looking forward to working harmoniously with open communication lines, to working closely with the industry.

"Kasama na po diyan ang mga artista, ang mga local producers whom I want to empower that they may be able to come up with globally competitive films at ng lahat po ng media at press.”

Kumpiyansa si Lala dahil katuwang niya ang MTRCB Board Members sa pagsulong ng mga programa ng ahensya.

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“Honestly, I cannot say na may biggest challenge. Kasi I know that when you address a certain thing, a lot will come along with it.

"So, I know marami akong kakaharapin na challenges. Pero by God’s grace—and I have the support of my Board Members whom I’m very thankful for because they are an active board—I know we will do well.”

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Lala Sotto on mixed reactions to her appointment as MTRCB chair: “Ah, hindi po kasi ako nagpi-pay attention to negativity because I want to remain positive, faithful and thankful. So, I have no reaction to that. I grew up naman na naririnig ko at nababasa ko left and right ang bashing. The best way to deal with it is not to deal with it at all.”
PHOTO/S: Julie Bonifacio
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