Comedienne Pokwang submitted a formal apology to Movie and Television Review and Classification Board last Monday, June 15, after the MTRCB summoned her and two others for wearing gloves embellished with the Philippine flag in the Independence Day episode of the noontime show Wowowee.
In an earlier interview with PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal), MTRCB Chairperson Ma. Consoliza P. Laguardia said she invited Pokwang to her office because she received a formal complaint about the comedienne's piece of costume, which she says is a violation of the Flag Law.
"Nag-monitor yung agent namin at may mga complaints kaming natanggap na yung gloves niya [Pokwang], may nakalagay na Philippine flag. E, against the Flag Law yun. Kaya ko naman siya ipinatawag, pati yung program producer ng Wowowee 'saka designer niya, para at least malaman ko kung bakit nila ginawa yun. Mukhang hindi yata nila alam na may violation. In-explain naman ito together with our lawyer," said Laguardia.
Section 34 of Republic Act 8491, or the "Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines," states that it is forbidden "to wear the flag in whole or in part as a costume or uniform."
The MTRCB Chairperson said Pokwang personally apologized for the incident. Pokwang claimed that she mistakenly bought the gloves with the flag design in Divisoria, thinking that it would be a fitting costume for Independence Day.
Laguardia said Pokwang was very humble.
"Yung humility factor, nakaka-count din yun," she said. "Kung in-admit mo na mali ka, hindi naman sa pagbibigay, but intindihin mo rin. Nagkamali siya, tinaggap niya yung pagkakamali niya, bakit kailangan pang pahabain yung proseso?"
The Chairperson also confirmed that another show, which she refused to identify, had made the same mistake. She then warned other hosts to take note of the directive.
"Mayroon pang show na may ganyan ding case, ongoing yung kaso. Sa mga hosts, dapat treat with utmost respect yung flag natin because yung flag natin, that represents our country, our culture, our heritage. Sana huwag ninyong ipagwalang-bahala ang Philippine flag natin. Not just because it's June 12, pero sa lahat ng araw ng taon. Kailangang bigyang halaga yun," explained Laguardia.
POKWANG'S APOLOGY. Pokwang submitted the following statement to MTRCB:
"I wish to reiterate the apology I made during the same broadcast, immediately after I was advised that I should not have used the gloves as pasrt of my costume for Independence Day. Since I was told that similar merchandise containing the flag were being openly sold to the public in time for Independece Day, I had mistakenly believed that it was fitting to use the gloves for our June 12 episode. If there was anything improper in my having used the gloves, it was not deliberate on my part, and I sincerely apologize for my error. I will make sure not to commit the same mistake."