G.R. No. 148579            
February 5, 2007

GMA NETWORK, INC., Petitioner,


MTRCB issued an order of suspension against petitioner for airing “Muro Ami: The Making” without first securing a permit from it as provided in Section 7 of PD 1986.

Petitioner then filed with the CA a petition for certiorari which was dismissed in the now assailed June 18, 2001 decision. The January 7, 2000 suspension order issued by MTRCB was affirmed in toto.

Petitioner moved for reconsideration of the suspension order and, at the same time, informed MTRCB that Channel 27 had complied with the suspension order by going off the air since midnight of January 11, 2000. It also filed a letter-protest which was merely “noted” by the MTRCB thereby, in effect, denying both the motion for reconsideration and letter-protest.


  1. Whether the MTRCB has the power or authority to review the show “Muro Ami: The Making” prior to its broadcast by television.
  2. Whether Memorandum Circular No. 98-17 was enforceable and binding on petitioner


  1. Yes. Section 3 of PD 1986 empowers the MTRCB to screen, review and examine all motion pictures, television programs including publicity materials. This power of review is highlighted in its Rules and Regulation under Sec. 7.

1: SECTION 7. REQUIREMENT OF PRIOR REVIEW. — No motion picture, television program or related publicity material shall be imported, exported, produced, copied, distributed, sold, leased, exhibited or broadcasted by television without prior permit issued by the BOARD after review of the motion picture, television program or publicity material

The only exemptions from the MTRCB’s power of review are those expressly mentioned in Section 7, such as:

  • Television programs imprinted or exhibited by the Philippine Government and/or departments and agencies, and
  • Newsreels.

Thus “Muro Ami: The Making” is within the power of MTRCB given that it is not one of the exemptions. Additionally, even though the petitioner insists that “Muro Ami: The Making” is a public affairs program, this Court has already ruled that a public affairs program — described as a variety of news treatment; a cross between pure television news and news-related commentaries, analysis and/or exchange of opinions — is within the MTRCBs power of review.

  1. No. The Administrative Code of 1987, particularly Section 3, requires that each agency to file with the Office of the National Administrative Register (ONAR) of the University of the Philippines Law Center three certified copies of every rule adopted by it. Administrative issuances which are not published or filed with the ONAR are ineffective and may not be enforced. Memorandum Circular No. 98-17 has not been registered with the ONAR as of January 27, 2000. Hence, it is thus unenforceable and cannot be meted out to the petitioner as punishment.

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