Willie Revillame faces arrest for child abuse case
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Comedian Willie Revillame is facing arrest over a previous child abuse case after the Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed the order from the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City, which found probable cause to issue a warrant of arrest against him.
The CA's 13th Division did not find any abuse of discretion on the part of Quezon City RTC Branch 86 presiding judge Roberto Buenaventura when he issued the warrant of arrest in October 2013. This is according to a decision written by Associate Justice Ma. Luisa Quijano-Padilla.
The CA said that the case was delayed because of Willie's "refusal to submit to the trial court's jurisdiction and his erroneous invocation of the Rules in his favor."
"As there is probable cause for the petitioner's commission of a crime, his arrest and arraignment should now ensue so that this case may properly proceed to trial, where the merits of both parties' evidence and allegations may be weighed," the CA said.
The CA explained that Judge Buenaventura issued the warrant of arrest after his personal evaluation of the factual circumstances in Willie's case. Based on his evaluation, Willie committed a criminal offense, which is probable cause to apprehend him.
In a statement, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) secretary Dinky Soliman said they are pleased with the latest development in the case.
"The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has yet to officially receive a copy of the said decision. However, we believe it means that the Court of Appeals has affirmed the decision of the trial court to issue a Warrant of Arrest against TV host Wilfredo “Willie” Revillame.
"We welcome this development in the complaint we filed against against Mr. Revillame in 2011 for violating Republic Act 7610 or the Anti-Child Abuse Law. It can be recalled that Mr. Revillame made a six-year old boy perform gyrating dance movements on national television in an earlier version of his show.
"We remain committed to our mandate of promoting and protecting the welfare of children, in all aspects and settings."
On the March 12, 2011 episode of the now-defunct show Willing Willie on TV5, a 6-year-old boy showed his "macho dancing" moves, which Willie asked him to repeat again. Wille later gave him P10,000 for repeating the dance.
This did not sit well with audiences. A complaint was sent to the DSWD, and the DSWD later filed the case against Willie. The show was suspended for two weeks after the incident.
Willie reformatted his show to Will Time Big Time but it folded up on January 5, 2013. Almost two weeks later, a new show, Wowowillie was launched. But in February 2013, Willie scolded host Ethel Booba and comedian Ate Gay on air for their behavior. Ethel left the show afterwards. Wowowillie ended in October 2013.
He now hosts the show Wowowin on the GMA network, which started airing last April. – Rappler.com