Benguet vlogger faces first ‘bawal bastos’ lawsuit in Cordillera
BAGUIO CITY — A video blogger (vlogger) in Benguet province was charged with sexual harassment after he allegedly posted sexist comments against a woman purportedly to defend President Marcos, a case that could be the first Cordillera lawsuit involving the Safe Spaces Act (Republic Act No. 11313), more popularly known as the “Bawal Bastos” law.
Renan Padawi, a resident of Itogon town, was arrested but posted bail on Sept. 8 for the “gender-based sexual harassment” charge now being heard by Judge Mylene May Adube-Cabuag of the Municipal Trial Court of La Trinidad, Benguet.
The complaint was filed by La Trinidad resident Mia Magdalena Fokno, who claimed she was attacked online by Padawi when she discussed the July 27 Abra earthquake and had reflected on the whereabouts of the President on her social media page.
Padawi, who uses the vlog name “Jackfloyd Sawyer,” responded on July 27 with the message: “5:05 naramdaman mo ba yun mia! Cnong may kasalanan! Sungbat! (5:05 Did you feel that, Mia? Who’s fault was it?)” in an apparent reference to the earthquake.The next day, Padawi allegedly insulted Fokno in a video after arguing that Mr. Marcos had not been responsible for the magnitude 7 earthquake that rocked north and central Luzon.Insults, threats
Citing the vlog and a forensic report compiled by the Philippine National Police Anti-Cyber Crime Group, Fokno, in her affidavit, said Padawi hurled sexist remarks like, “Kulang ka lang sa dilig (You seem to need watering).”
Fokno said Padawi further insulted her through his video clip by saying: “Ano ka ba? Sino ka ba talaga? Ha! Gusto mong mag face-to-face tayo? Para ligawan na lang kita para manahimik ka dyan. Kung makapag … akala mo naman kung … Mmm! (What kind of person are you? Who are you, really? You want to meet face-to-face … So I can court you to keep you quiet).”
Citing the vlog that was still online as of Thursday, the complaint also said Padawi had become more threatening in other parts of the video clip.
“Huwag kang ano dyan Mia Magdalena ah. Baka pag nagkita tayo, s**t, ibabangka kita sa dagat na walang hanggan (Stop what you’re doing, Mia Magdalena. Should we meet, I will take you on a boat ride in an endless sea)!” Fokno quoted Padawi in her affidavit as saying.
The video has been viewed 73,100 times, generated 2,400 reactions, was shared 380 times and drew 395 comments, Fokno said, which made her fearful of being sexually assaulted.“I feel unsafe online and in the real world. I have been suffering sleepless nights, public ridicule, embarrassment, anguish, and [my] freedom of movement [has been restrained] because I fear for my safety,” she said in the affidavit.
The Office of the Benguet Provincial Prosecutor filed the charges against Padawi, after concluding that his social media posts breached Section 12 of RA 11313.
“By making and uploading … the subject video clip, the respondent clearly committed the offense. First, he terrorized and intimidated the complainant. Second, he used information and communications technology [to harass] the complainant,” Assistant Prosecutor Jurgenson Lagdao said in a four-page resolution that was issued on Aug. 25.Lagdao said Padawi expressed “unwanted sexist remarks” and had “commented with sexual overtones” to antagonize Fokno.
Court records showed that the vlogger’s bail was originally set at P50,000, but Padawi had requested the court for a lower amount, citing “financial constraints,” and had claimed that his family could only raise P25,000.Padawi was allowed to post a P30,000 bail bond instead. —WITH A REPORT FROM VINCENT CABREZA
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