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Home Sections MiscellaNEWS Another Reader’s Feedback on the “DH” Comedia: Apo Ramon, M.D., Writes a Dissenting Opinion
Another Reader’s Feedback on the “DH” Comedia: Apo Ramon, M.D., Writes a Dissenting Opinion PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 16 October 2007 05:00

Another Reader’s Feedback on the "DH" Comedia: Apo Ramon, M.D., Writes a Dissenting Opinion and Reyes Replies

Dear Bobby,

If in a TV sitcom some character said "Puta'ng ina (ng) mga Filipino," some Filipinos would react saying they are "not bothered because their mothers are an exception." Some would mitigate or even forgive "because the truth is that there are indeed Filipino mothers that are whores."

Some go on the defensive trying to prove that their mothers are indeed not whores. Some are even inspired to produce a documentary or any publicity stunt to project a positive image showing that most Filipino mothers are really decent human beings. And a few Filipinos laugh ridiculing all these reactions because they think the line is funny and should be taken within the context of a fictional TV sitcom.

It doesn't matter whether or not all or some of Filipino mothers are whores or not. It doesn't matter whether the line used in a TV sitcom was meant to be funny or not. The written script and digital audio-visual recordings – permanently archived in the libraries of the AMPAS, Writers Guild and in the reference sections of public libraries – are forever available to the public and are libelous. The line spoken in front of a live audience in a taping or filming session and the airing of the show before millions of people is also slanderous.

Each medical school in the Philippines is "some med school in the Philippines" and should file a lawsuit in the Philippines in their regional courts from Baguio to Davao. Thirty-some med schools from one end of the country to the other. That would put a new twist on the medical tourism currently being promoted – it will be the new medico-legal tourism. Philippine and American lawyers will have a field day. Lucio Tan’s PAL will ferry across the Pacific-American lawyers and their staffers. Five-star hotels and restaurants and casinos and perhaps even call-girls will make lots of money. Boy, oh boy, the Philippine courts would make a nice mousetrap for Disney's Mickey Mouse!

Apo Ramon, M.D.

 

* * * * 

Dear Apo Ramon:

The problem with your scenario (of Philippine medical schools) suing ABC and the producers of "Desperate Housewives" is that Philippine courts do not have jurisdiction over American companies that are not doing business in the Philippines. Since the ABC Network and the TV show producers do not have offices in the Philippines and much more registered branch offices in our homeland, no Philippine court can acquire jurisdiction. The lawsuits can be good PR gimmicks but they will remain as gimmicks.

But you are correct in saying that the medical schools in the Philippines are the offended parties. In truth, only the Philippine government could be allowed to make a protest (as it exercises control over the educational institutions) and our Filipino diplomats did. And the ABC Network came up with the apology, which the Filipino diplomats accepted. This should have been the end of the dispute. But some Fil-Am leaders are taking advantage of the issue to grandstand and make fools of themselves.

And finally, the point that many Filipino Americans fail to get: The more they protest about the TV show, the more publicity ABC would get, which is good for the ratings. At the end of the day, our community would only be the loser, and some of our fellow Filipinos in America are increasing the losses by their pointless protests.

If our community kept silent, perhaps nobody – especially among the 300-million Americans – would have noticed the perceived racial slur. The ABC said that that particular episode attracted some 19-million viewers. That meant that more-than 281-million Americans did not know of the incident. Now, more and more American viewers are getting to have a look at the sorry episode.

Mabuhay,

Bobby M. Reyes



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Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 October 2007 15:19
 

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