Reward up for couple behind ‘crush’ videos
An animal rights group the other day asked political leaders and the public for help in arresting a couple believed to be behind the filming and sale on the Internet of gruesome “fetish” videos showing small animals being tortured to death by scantily clad girls.
In a news conference in Makati City, officials of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) Asia-Pacific offered a P100,000 reward for anyone who could provide them with information that would lead to the arrest of Victor and Dorma Ridon, a Filipino couple who live in Bacnotan, La Union.
It added that charges were filed against the Ridons in January for violating section 6 of Republic Act (RA) 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act of 1998 and section 9 of RA 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.
Peta said the couple hired girls between the ages of 12 and 18 to torture and kill animals and paid them P100 to P1,000 per video.
The “crush films” were then sold as erotica online.
In the press conference, Peta showed clips from some of the 68 videos which were brought to their attention by a concerned citizen in Russia.
Some of these featured rabbits whose ears were cut off before they were burnt alive or stepped on until their organs leaked out.
There were also others which showed dogs that were either repeatedly hit in the eye with a stiletto heel, had their legs hacked off or burnt with a clothes iron.
Peta said that according to the Animal Welfare Act, it is unlawful “for any person to torture any animal, to neglect to provide adequate care … kill or cause or procure to be tortured or deprived of adequate care, sustenance or shelter, or maltreat or use the same in research or experiments not expressly authorized by the Committee on Animal Welfare.”
The group earlier sought the help of the National Bureau of Investigation after it filed additional charges against the couple, this time for violation of RA 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act and RA 9147 or the Wildlife Protection and Conservation Act, in April.
Peta said it took a year before they discovered who were behind the production and sale of the videos.
A warrant was then issued for the arrest of the couple by the San Fernando, La Union Regional Trial Court Branch 30.
Jane Sevilla, Peta special projects coordinator, said in an interview that some of the videos were filmed in a rented house and the rest in the house of the couple.
Peta Asia campaigns manager Rochelle Regodon added that the young girls in the videos were initially hired by the couple to look after their children.
Later on, they were asked to dance in their underwear in front of a camera and eventually, ordered to kill small animals.
“Most of the girls are not studying and they come from poor families,” Sevilla added, saying that these girls were being made to “bite the bullet” due to poverty.
Peta also expressed concern about the country’s lack of laws punishing producers of “crush films.” According to them, perpetrators of animal torture face a maximum of two years imprisonment and/or a P5,000 fine.
The group, meanwhile, lauded Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Buhay party-list Rep. Irwin Tieng for filing resolutions seeking to ban the production and sale of “crush videos.”
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