October 7, 2016
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has called on lawmakers not to show the alleged sex video of Senator Leila de Lima before the House inquiry on the alleged drug trade in the national penitentiary.
In a statement, the CHR said legislators should respect the women’s rights and “stop using their power of investigation in aid of legislation to perpetuate discrimination and violence against women.”
The commission noted that the production and distribution of ‘sex videos’ constitute a violation of human rights, in particular the right to dignity and privacy as well as the right against discrimination.
The CHR stressed that playing the video, which supposedly shows De Lima engaged in an intimate act with her alleged lover, former driver Ronnie Dayan, is a clear violation of Republic Act 9995 or the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Law.
The commission also said the mere threat of showing the video is already “a form of psychological violence.”
“It has exposed the pervasive nature of gender-based discrimination as in the present case, such repeated threat of showing the alleged ‘sex video’ shows utter lack of respect for the dignity and privacy of a prominent woman legislator and is clearly meant to shame her,” the CHR said.
As Gender Ombud, the commission said it could not allow “the continuing discrimination and violation of any woman’s rights and in this case, the rights of Senator De Lima.”
“Whenever we keep silent when violations occur, we contribute to the trivialization of the recognition gained in the cause of women’s rights,” the CHR noted.
“Hence, we contribute to the violation of the rights of women everywhere,” it added.
The CHR asked lawmakers “to fulfill their obligations under International Human Rights law to uphold women’s rights, to eliminate discrimination and violence against women, and to honor their bounden duty to follow the laws they have enacted.”
“We challenge our leaders and lawmakers to stand on the side of women’s human rights and dignity for all and to put a stop to the showing of the alleged ‘sex video’ regardless of its authenticity,” the commission added.
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez earlier said he saw nothing wrong with showing the supposed video of De Lima engaged in an intimate act.
Alvarez said playing the video would help establish the relationship between De Lima and Dayan, who inmates alleged collected drug money for the Senator at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.
Last week, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said he could present three sex videos if De Lima would deny her romantic relationship with Dayan.
But on Tuesday, he denied having the videos in their possesions.
Thus, he said there will be no “sex video” to present at the House hearing. -RBL