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Lady senators oppose showing of alleged De Lima sex video

Female senators on Thursday opposed the idea of showing the alleged sex video of their colleague, embattled Senator Leila de Lima, in a public committee hearing at the House of Representatives. 

Senator Risa Hontiveros, a party mate of De Lima, said plans to show the video was “clearly a case of misogyny.” 

“This is clearly a case of misogyny. The House of Representatives must not entertain this contemptible proposal. To borrow a phrase, as for Sen. Leila, I'm with her,” Hontiveros added. 

“It is terrible. I don't see how the showing of fake sex videos will promote the interest of truth and justice,” the neophyte senator said. 

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Wednesday said he sees nothing wrong if the alleged sex video of De Lima and her former driver and alleged lover, Ronnie Dayan, would be played during the House inquiry on the alleged proliferation of drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP). 

Alvarez said the video should be shown only if it would help establish De Lima's personal relationships with people who could be behind the NBP drug trade. 

Senator Grace Poe expressed her reservations on the planned move, arguing that playing the video would violate Republic Act 9995 or the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act. 

Section 4 of the said law prohibits and declares unlawful the showing of photo or video coverage or recordings of such sexual act or any similar activity through VCD/DVD, internet, cellular phones and other similar means or device. 

“It will serve no legal and practical purpose as the law makes such unlawful act of showing inadmissible in evidence in any judicial, quasi judicial, legislative or administrative hearing or investigation,” Poe said. 

Senator Cynthia Villar, meanwhile, appealed to congressmen to "proceed with decency and sympathy for women" in dealing with the matter.

"Regardless of the identity of the woman in the video, a woman's dignity and rights will be violated with the exhibition of the sex video," Villar said.

De Lima earlier denied the existence of such videos, and her supposed sexual relations with Dayan.

Senator Nancy Binay, for her part, had said that Congress should not meddle in the personal life of De Lima, saying some of the accusations against her are already “below the belt.”

“‘Yung iba naman below the belt. Kung tutuusin, ano ba pakialam natin sa love life niya?” Binay said.

For her part,  Sen. Loren Legarda said: “I take strong exception to the proposed showing in a congressional hearing of an alleged sex video of a fellow senator. Congress must not be the violator of its own laws, and I refer to RA 9995 on anti-photo and video voyeurism.”

“With its strict penalties, this law intended to send a strong message that a person's honor and dignity must not be trifled with, and a photo or video published without the person's written consent is a human rights violation that must be dealt with harshly,” she added.

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III meanwhile advised congressmen to be “sensitive” and “ready to pay the political price” if they push through with the plan to show the alleged sex tape.

“As Senate President, a reminder to all fellow legislators and lawmakers to be responsible for our actions, be sensitive to the sensibilities, feelings and the effect of our actions on the reputation of our fellow legislator,” Pimentel said. 

“But if they should do some reckless action, be ready to pay the political price,” he added. —KG/RSJ, GMA News