RESPECT is rightfully given to someone who deserves it, not to just to anyone who asks for it.

On the Feb. 28 episode of TV5’s noontime show “Wowowillie,” the notoriously egotistical host Willie Revillame dressed down two of his co-hosts, causing yet another uproar.

Revillame cut the broadcast midway just so he could lecture comedians Ethel Booba and Ate Gay for having the guts to complain over their loss in the show’s singing and costume contest. He lambasted them on air, calling them unprofessional and ungrateful, and daring them to resign.

“Hindi sila professional. Sinigawan ko sila para malaman ninyo,” he told the audience.

We needed to know, he claimed. My question is, what for? So we would side with him, the all-righteous hero of the masses, and see Ethel and Ate Gay as villains?

Unprofessional, he also claimed. He might as well be pertaining to himself. The professional way is to keep internal problems internal. The argument, according to Revillame, started in the dressing room. Why blurt it out on national television? If there’s one thing he knows best, it’s how to generate publicity, good or bad.

Revillame also said the show was for the public and that everything was just for fun. But involving the public in a private matter is certainly no fun.

Unfortunately, it did not end there. Revillame went personal.

“Ethel, galing ka sa baba inaangat kita, ‘yun ang gagawin mo sa ‘kin? Ate Gay, binibigyan kita ng break, okay? Magkaroon kayo ng utang na loob.”

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Revillame should know that we don’t do good to receive good.

I recall our ethics class this semester, when our instructor brought up Karol Wojtyla, the late Pope John Paul II, and his teachings about labor. The encyclical letter Laborem Exersens extols man’s dignity in work.

“You don’t do that to me,” Revillame kept on uttering during his show, demanding respect. The dignity of the worker had already been trampled upon.

Revillame’s outburst proved to be more of an attack he had brought upon himself. The backlash came from “memes” and reactions posted online by netizens.

While it may be true that Ethel and Ate Gay were disrecpectful, Revillame should keep in mind that respect runs both ways. Respect others if you want them to respect you. Just because someone is older or holds a higher position doesn’t always mean he or she is right. We’re all human beings created by God.

That thought aside, what hit me most was the fact that Revillame was applauded by the live audience. Are Filipinos that stupid to approve of such arrogance? In a society where money and fame form the basis of all things right and just, morality and ethics lie six feet under.

“Mag isip kayo…tumingin kayo kung saan kayo nanggaling…wag kayong masilaw at malunod sa palakpak at sigaw ng tao,” Revillame said.

He talks about thinking and looking back and learning from the past. Again, he might as well tell that to himself. We all know his previous transgressions, like disrespecting a former president during her funeral, and forcing a crying boy to do a “macho dance.”

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I could go on and on about the immoral and unethical remarks made by his co-hosts. But disappointment mostly lies on the shallow audience. If this is a kind of thing that we should applaud, we’re no different from the spectators at the Roman Colosseum.

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