MANILA, Philippines?The mayor of a sleepy town in Bataan province had been charged with prostitution and lewd show for allegedly paying some 40 teenage boys to play basketball while in their underwear, a lawyer said Tuesday.
Lawyer Harry Roque said the charges against Bagac Mayor Ramil Del Rosario have been filed before the Office of the Ombudsman, following the supposed non-action of the local offices of the Interior and Local Government and the Social Welfare and Development.
Roque said the mayor's camp lured the boys to play basketball at the town plaza in exchange for P200 pesos per shoot, and P500 up to P1000 each if they would do it wearing only their underwear.
The boys gave in because of the offered money in a town event captured in cellphone video cameras, said Roque.
"Sabi nila nakatambay lang sila tapos may lumapit sa kanila at sinabing may palaro si mayor. Kapag final shoot, P1000 daw ang ibabayad. (The boys said they were just hanging around when someone approached them telling them the mayor was hosting a basketball event. And that in the final shoot they would get P1,000). That's prostitution," Roque said in a phone interview.
Del Rosario denied the charges, saying when he arrived at the town plaza the boys were already playing in their underwear.
"Naghubad ng kusa yan. Ang sabi ko para matahimik na kayo eto ang P500, huwag na kayo mag-brief (They undressed voluntarily. I told them to stop and even gave them P500 to get dressed)," Del Rosario said in an interview over radio dzMM.
He said the charges were politically-motivated.
"Isang taon na ?yan, tapos yung issue no?ng April 2008. Nilabas nila ngayon dahil malapit na ang eleksyon (It has been a year, that incident happened in April 2008. The issue is being revived because election is near)," said Del Rosario.