Women senators unite, file resolution vs ‘De Lima’ video

Camille Elemia
Five female senators file Senate Resolution No 184, condemning the House plan to show the alleged video of their colleague Senator Leila De Lima at a congressional inquiry

RESOLUTION. Female senators file Senate Resolution No. 184 condemning the plan of the House of Representatives to show the alleged video of Senator Leila De Lima at a congressional inquiry.

MANILA, Philippines – They may come from different political parties but female senators on Monday, October 3, joined forces in filing a resolution denouncing the House of Representatives’ plan to show the alleged private video of Senator Leila De Lima at a congressional hearing, calling it a form of slut-shaming.

Senators Risa Hontiveros, Grace Poe, Nancy Binay, Cynthia Villar, and Loren Legarda have filed Senate Resolution No. 184 condemning the House plan against their colleague.

They called such act “illegal, violative of inter-parliamentary courtesy and an affront to women’s dignity.”

“Today, we cross party lines and temporarily set aside our differences. Our sisterhood and strong bond and solidarity as women brought us together to oppose the misogyny and sexism of those who think we are lesser beings and thus, deserve to be shamed,” said Hontiveros, who initiated the filing of the resolution.

The senators reiterated that the showing of the alleged private video violates Republic Act 9995 or the Anti Photo or Video Voyeurism Act of 2009 and RA 4200 or the Anti-Wiretapping Law.

“It also violates the time-honored principle of inter-parliamentary courtesy, given that Senator De Lima is a sitting senator and should therefore not be subjected to the ridicule and ignominy of a purported sex video,” the senators said.

“More importantly, it is a blow to our collective struggle to uplift the dignity of women, respect her agency and her autonomy over her own body, and is a form of slut-shaming that will not set a good example for the country,” they added.

Poe and Legarda earlier cited the same laws in their public denouncement of the Lower House’s plan, with the former saying such videos or photos would not be admissible in court.

Hontiveros even likened it to a situation where abused women find themselves in, when their partners blackmail them.

Villar, for her part, said the showing of the video would violate a woman’s rights and dignity, regardless if it’s De Lima or not in the alleged sex video.

Women lawmakers have also opposed the move of their male counterparts, led by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez himself.

Alvarez maintained he sees nothing wrong with showing the alleged private video, as it would supposedly help prove the ties between De Lima and former driver Ronnie Dayan, who supposedly collected drug money inside the NBP for her.

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III cautioned his House counterparts, saying such acts come at a “political price.– Rappler.com

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com