MANILA, Philippines?Subpoenas have been issued to three people, including celebrity cosmetic surgeon Vicki Belo and her ex-boyfriend Dr. Hayden Kho, in connection with the inquiry of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) into the raging sex video scandal.
One Dr. Eric Johnston Chua will also be invited to explain how the videos featuring Kho in sexual encounters with actress Katrina Halili and other women ended up on the Net, according to Vicente de Guzman, head of the NBI Anti-Fraud and Computer Crimes Division.
?We will be inviting all personalities mentioned by Ms Halili in her statement, as well as other personalities whose names will surface in connection with this case,? De Guzman said Thursday at a press conference.
He said the inquiry would be ?focused on the case of Halili,? and that subpoenas would be issued later to the other ?victims.?
Halili said she heard that Belo also had a sex video with Kho.
?I heard that rumor . . . That was also gossiped about,? she said.
?We shouldn?t be afraid to fight back. If we don?t do anything, it?s like we?re tolerating him. There are lots of victims out there. Most are not from show biz?women who were victimized by their ex-boyfriends with cell phone and webcam videos,? Halili said.
On Tuesday, Sen. Ramon ?Bong? Revilla Jr. delivered a privilege speech assailing Kho for filming his sexual encounters with Halili and other women.
Kho has a ?library? of 40 sex videos with different women, apparently filmed without their knowledge, Revilla said in a statement Thursday. He called on ?other victims of Kho? to come out and press charges, saying this would be an ?act of vindication,? particularly for those in videos making the rounds of the public domain.
On Wednesday, Halili filed a complaint with the NBI against Kho for videotaping their lovemaking without her consent. The video has been circulating in the Net and is now being sold in DVD form.
Thursday, the actress went to the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and filed an administrative complaint for immorality and dishonorable and unethical conduct against Kho.
She asked the PRC to revoke Kho?s license and ban him from practicing medicine.
De Guzman said Kho and other persons suspected of involvement in the production and proliferation of the sex video may be charged with violation of Republic Act No. 9262 (or the Anti-Violence against Women and Children Act of 2004).
?We will look into other [charges] that could possibly be filed,? he said, noting that ?laws against cyber crime, particularly pornography,? were nonexistent.
De Guzman also said the NBI would seek the help of the maintainers of the website where the Kho-Halili sex video was posted, in determining who had uploaded it on the Net.
Leah Salterio, public relations officer of Belo Medical Clinic, said Belo broke up with Kho in December 2008 because of the sex video but had remained friends with him.
Salterio said Kho and Belo were consulting the company?s lawyer, Adel Tamano, concerning the NBI subpoena.
She said Belo had yet to read the subpoena because it was delivered to the clinic?s branch on Tomas Morato Avenue in Quezon City.
Kho resigned from the clinic in December 2008.
In the complaint she filed with the PRC, Halili said she met Kho between June and July 2007 when she went to the Belo clinic.
She said she and Kho became sweethearts in August 2007, but that she decided to end the relationship in January 2008. She also admitted having had a sexual relationship with Kho.
This was how Halili narrated the subsequent turn of events:
Sometime in December 2008, she got wind of talk that a sex video featuring her and Kho was making the rounds. She confronted him about it, and he said that there was no such a video.
On Dec. 26, 2008, Halili?s road manager, Omar Sortijas, received a text message from Kho also denying any sex video with any actress.
But another text message sent by Kho to Sortijas on that day stated that no one could watch the video because Belo had his hard disk and she was ignorant of computer matters: ?Walang makakanuod nun dahil na kay Vicki yung hard disk ko. Wala siyang pnagbigyan ng copy dhel di naman yun marunong mag computer.?
On May 17, after the Kho-Halili sex video circulated in public, Kho reportedly sent this text message to Sortijas: ?There r 4 videos with kat, if m not mistaken. 2 dancing. 1 talking. And 1 obscene.?
Halili said that the next day, she was able to watch the video through www.uploads.ph. She said it was very clear that it was Kho who set up the camera without her knowledge and consent.
Kho has also been seen in other sex videos featuring himself and other women.
Halili?s lawyer Raymund Palad said Kho?s acts were immoral and a violation of the provisions of the Medical Act of 1959, as well as the Code of Ethics.
?The unethical acts of Dr. Hayden Kho fall short of that strict moral standard required of a professional, especially in the medical profession. [Kho] is a disgrace to the medical profession and the Board should discipline [him] to serve as a deterrent to others,? Palad said.
?The injury caused to the person, honor and reputation of the complainant is so gross and serious in nature. The immorality perpetrated by the respondent should not go unpunished,? the lawyer said, adding that Kho was ?no longer fit to enjoy the privileges of the profession of medicine.?
Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chair Leila de Lima said the posting of the Kho-Halili sex video was ?clearly malicious? and violated the Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
?I hate to say this but Filipino women clearly do not get enough respect,? De Lima said in a statement.
?If Filipino men do not respect Filipino women, how can we expect a human rights culture in a world where our women, including migrant workers, are often degraded?? she said.
De Lima pushed for the enactment of the Magna Carta for Women, to ensure further protection of women against abuse, exploitation and discrimination.
?The issue here is not the fact that the personalities are well known. It is that porn happened,? De Lima said.
She described pornography as a form of psychological violence against women.
?[It] perpetuates the image of women as objects,? which can lead to other forms of violence such as trafficking and date rape, she said.
Halili?s case has triggered action in high places.
Sen. Pia Cayetano has filed a bill seeking to prohibit and penalize the recording of private acts, as well as the sharing and exhibition of the recording, without the consent of the person involved.
Cayetano filed the proposed ?Anti-Video Voyeurism Act of 2009? on Wednesday, a day after Revilla?s privilege speech.
Cayetano said many women caught in sex scandals on the Net and mobile phones were ?doubly? victimized??first, when the recording is made without their consent, and second, when such recording is viewed again and again.?
?Such a violation is condemnable and needs to be penalized in the highest degree,? she said.
Undersecretary Anthony Golez, deputy spokesperson of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, said Malacañang would back any legislation ?that would protect the rights of women and children.?
Kho has been placed on the Bureau of Immigration?s watch list, preventing him from leaving the country without clearance from the Department of Justice, according to Immigration Commissioner Marcelino Libanan.
And Philippine National Police Director General Jesus Verzosa said his office was ready to ?attend? to any complaint that Halili would file against Kho.
He also said the PNP would be willing to provide protection to Halili if she asks for it.
?We do not discriminate ? If there is a complaint, we will investigate. And if there is a request for security and investigation, the PNP will attend [to it],? Verzosa said on the sidelines of the turnover ceremony of troop carriers to regional integrated police offices at Camp Crame Thursday.
Peddled on streets
The police also intends to coordinate with the Optical Media Board in confiscating copies of the sex videos now being peddled on the streets, Verzosa told reporters.
Revilla hailed Halili?s ?courageous public confession? in admitting that she was one of the women in the sex videos.
He reiterated his call for the immediate passage of his Anti-Pornography Bill, which seeks to slap stiffer penalties on those who publish, broadcast and exhibit pornographic materials through the use of traditional media, the Net, cellular phones and other forms of media. With reports from Bayani San Diego Jr., Nikko Dizon, Jocelyn R. Uy, TJ Burgonio, Christine O. Avendaño, Michael Lim Ubac and Jerome Aning