The DSWD was assisted by the Council for the Welfare of Children, one of its attached agencies, in pursuing the child abuse case. The charges were initially filed before the Quezon City Prosecutors Office and was eventually elevated to the Quezon City Regional Trial Court in 2013.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) welcomed a recent Court of Appeals (CA) ruling affirming an arrest warrant issued by a lower court against popular television host Willie Revillame in connection to a child abuse case filed in 2011.
“We welcome this development in the complaint we filed against Mr. Revillame in 2011 for violating Republic Act 7610 or the Anti-Child Abuse Law,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said in a statement.
The saga began in March 2011 after a six-year old boy named Janjan performed what has been described as a “macho dance” during an episode of “Willing Willie,” Revillame’s former variety show in TV5. At one point, Revillame can be seen prodding Janjan to dance again, even imitating the child’s dance moves.
In the video below, Janjan can be seen crying while doing the act although it is not clear why. The show’s live audience include his parents cheered him on during his performance. The six-year-old boy received P10,000 from Revillame as a reward.
The RTC issued an arrest warrant that same year although Revillame’s camp sought relief from the Court of Appeals. It took the appellate court two years to settle the matter.
“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 appeals court explained.
Meanwhile, Revillame’s lawyer Leonard de Vera emphasized in an interview over GMA-7 (the comedian’s new home network) that his client already posted bail for the charges as early as 2013.
“When the CA made the decision, it only merely said that the judge was correct in finding the probable cause (for the case),” De Vera said. “Let the trial proceed so that the government can prove its case and Willie can exercise his right in the trial. That’s all it meant,” he added.