MANILA, Philippines – Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Salceda appealed to concerned government agencies to take action after Rita Gabiola, a young Badjao contestant on Pinoy Big Brother, cried after being teased by some housemates.
In a Facebook post, Salceda appealed to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to step in.
"DSWD, NCIP, and MTRCB should take immediate remedial action on PBB. I was preparing to support the Bicolana from Masbate – Kisses – but now my heart breaks for Rita. PBB must be unequivocal against incipient discrimination, subsconscious racism and the bullying it engenders in any contour and complexion, only made grievous by its grand display to a national audience [especially] to its target segment – the youth whose moral judgment is just forming," Salceda said.
"From the start, PBB should have been structured to prevent its occurrence. Treatment of indigenous peoples is too delicate for a 'role playing-cum-confession room' context. It may address the direct participants but what about millions who watch the violation but failed for some reason to watch the episode of correction," he added.
View the entire statement here:
In the said episode, Rita was washing dishes in the kitchen, when some of the other female housemates started to laugh after showing what appears to be one of Rita's garments. Rita, looking upset, walked to the girls and took it from them.
After realizing their mistake, the girls apologized to Rita.
Rita became an online sensation after a photo of her going around in Lucena, Quezon was shared by photographer Topher Burgos. Many noticed her features.
Rita was later given a scholarship by the Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation. – Rappler.com