MANILA, Philippines — Public officials getting a public lap dance?
On Thursday, October 1, the Liberal Party (LP) held an oath-taking ceremony for members in Sta Cruz, Laguna. After the ceremony, women were brought on stage to “entertain” officials through provocative dance moves.
Videos of the public event were quick to make rounds online, leaving several netizens either angry or shocked.
A change.org petition was then launched by Edna Aquino, urging LP chairperson President Benigno Aquino III to issue a public apology for the LP event’s “offensive show.”
“This unfortunate but deplorable incident merits an apology from your office as Head of State and as Chair of the Liberal Party on whose name, this event was held,” it said.
The petition also calls for an investigation into the conduct of government officials in violation of the Magna Carta of Women or Republic Act 9710. The law prohibits all forms of discrimination against women. This is includes the discriminatory portrayal of women in film, media, or shows.
The petition mentioned that former interior secretary Manuel Roxas II, MMDA Chief Francis Tolentino, and Laguna Representative Benjamin Agarao were also present at the event. (The Roxas camp maintained that Roxas was no longer at the venue when the dancers when on stage.)
The petition demands the 3 officials to be investigated and held liable if proven guilty.
“The entertainment at a Liberal Party oath-taking ceremony and attended by government officials presented women as sexual objects,” the petition read. “Despite Malacañang (through Secretary Herminio ‘Sonny’ Coloma) and MMDA Chief Francis Tolentino’s denial that the women performers were his ‘gift’ to the host, eyewitness accounts from the media who were present proved otherwise.”
“According to news reports, there were minors in the audience,” the petition said, adding that such “unfortunate but deplorable incident” merits an apology from Aquino himself.
The Philippine Commission on Women told Rappler that it is yet to release an official statement on the matter.
What do you think of the incident? Let us know, tweet us @moveph or reach us at email@example.com of Facebook. – Rappler.com