WHILE I cannot agree that Sen. Leila de Lima should just gratuitously deny allegations of involvement in the drug trade at the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP), I cannot agree either with Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre’s plan to publicly air a sex video allegedly of her. The airing of such a video would be highly disrespectful of her office and derogatory of all women.
The idea, supposedly, is for the public to see for themselves if De Lima is in it or not. But this is highly irregular investigative procedure. Since when has the faceless public become an expert at identifying steamy bodies writhing in what can be presumed to be a low resolution video? The only valid reason for viewing it is to authenticate it. Even so, it can only be viewed legally (per R.A. 9995) by committee members in private at an executive session.
If it is judged by experts to be a fake, then it goes to the trash bin right there and then. If it turns out to be authentic, that’s when the question of relevance comes up. And it is this writer’s considered opinion that even if authentic the sex video is not relevant to the on-going congressional probe on drug activities at the NBP.
It is irrelevant because the hearings are in aid of legislation not of prosecution. I just cannot think of any possible relevant legislation congress might come up with after viewing the video. I am talking of legislation that would prevent a repetition of the illegal activities the previous Justice Department personnel, high and low, allowed at the NBP.
It is irrelevant because as chairperson Rep. Reynaldo V. Umali has made it very clear at the start, the probe is not in aid of persecuting Senator De Lima. And showing to the public an unauthenticated video serves no other purpose than to persecute her by shaming her. It is indecent, belittles her office, disrespectful of womanhood that she, in spite of her troubles, represents.
I personally cannot believe that some high officials in Congress and in the justice department could think of this when there are direct and respectful ways of connecting her to the alleged drug at the NBP.
Besides, it is illegal because of Republic Act 9995 or the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009 which forbids the taking, reproducing, public showing etc. of a person’s sex organs and/or act of intercourse. It is also illegal because of Republic Act 9710 (Magna Carta for Women) that forbids discriminatory and derogatory portrayal of women in media and film.
Connect Senator Leila de Lima to drugs at the NBP if you must, your honors. But please be respectful of her office and of all women and have the decency to vanish any thought of airing an illegal and irrelevant obscenity.