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MTRCB panel told to resign for approving ‘Barbie’ filming

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Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez on Thursday called for the resignation of members of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) “for failing to support and uphold our national interest.”

Rodriguez made the call following MRTCB’s decision to allow the commercial release of the movie “Barbie” starting July 19.

The film reportedly contains a depiction or reference to China’s expansive nine-dash-line territorial claim over the South China Sea, including parts of the Philippines’ 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Rodriguez aired his call a day after the seventh anniversary of the country’s historic victory in the United Nations-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration, which invalidated Beijing’s assertion of its extended maritime domain.

The court also ruled that some islands in the South China Sea occupied by China belonged to the Philippines as they were inside the latter’s EEZ.

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“I am dismayed and disappointed by MRTCB’s decision. The inclusion in the movie of China’s illegal nine-dash-line claim is against our national interest, which the board apparently does not appreciate. Those officials should not stay in government any minute longer,” Rodriguez stressed.

He said the MRTCB members’ vote to allow the commercial showing of the controversial movie “embarrasses and demeans the country and the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. before the international community.”

“I have no doubt that President BBM Jr. (Marcos) supports the July 12, 2016 arbitral ruling. He has repeatedly stated so. We should be the first country and people to assert it and to insist that China complies with it because it was our victory in the international tribunal,” he said.

The Mindanao solon added that it was ironic that Vietnam has banned “Barbie” for its “dubious content while the MTRC obviously wants to promote Beijing’s baseless expansive territorial claim in the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea.”

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