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LP official moves to ban lewd shows as campaign gimmick

/ 05:47 PM October 02, 2015
The host of the event has insisted that the girls are courtesy of MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino. SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

Batanes representative and Liberal Party official Henedina Abad calls for a ban on lewd shows as campaign gimmick for candidates of the 2016 elections following the staging of an obscene number during a gathering for a congressman in Laguna on Thursday.

A Liberal Party (LP) official on Friday said she would call for a ban on employing scantily clad women to woo voters’ attention during the campaign season for the 2016 elections.

In an interview at the sidelines of the budget plenary debates in the House of Representatives, Batanes Rep. Henedina Abad said it was about time LP respected women, who were vulnerable to being marginalized in a patriarchal society.

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Ang mga kababaihan, they’ve been traditionally, historically, and structurally marginalized, in many aspects. Kailangan, mas conscious, mas deliberate at mas kailangan very clear in terms of standards and parameters,” said Abad, LP vice president for policy, programs and advocacy.

She made the reaction after her party mate, Laguna Rep. Benjamin Agarao Jr., was bashed on social media over an obscene show featuring women gyrating on top of an audience member during the celebration of his 58th birthday and 40 years in government service.

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READ: WATCH: Sexy dancers in post-LP event Tolentino’s ‘surprise gift’?

It was said that Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Francis Tolentino sponsored the show as a gift to Agarao, but both of them denied it.

Hurt by backlash on social media, Agarao apologized for the malicious number, backtracking from his earlier statement that he as a heterosexual man found nothing lewd with the performance.

READ: Laguna Representative Agarao apologizes for lewd birthday show

Abad urged her party mates to be more conscious with their campaign gimmicks and not demean women just to woo voters.

Naniniwala kami sa dignidad, respeto at pagkakapantay-pantay ng kababaihan at kalalakihan … We cannot tolerate such gimmickry. I think it exploits women,” Abad said.

“We will ban and convince them na hindi ito kagandahan. Huwag na natin gagawin at uulitin ito,” she added.

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The wife of Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said LP would investigate the incident, but stopped short of saying Agarao would be sanctioned.

Abad said she would have to wait for the party’s internal investigation before imposing sanctions on Agarao.

For his part, House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales Jr. said it was not within LP to sanction Agarao because the supposed performance was held in a private celebration.

The performance was held just after LP standard bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II led the oath-taking of LP members in Laguna. Roxas left before the show began.

Gonzales said while employing women for entertainment may be considered vulgar in Metro Manila, it was a typical campaign gimmick in the provinces.

Gonzales added he would never resort to such gimmickry in his district in Mandaluyong City.

Pagdating sa probinsiya, ganiyan talaga kampanya. What may be acceptable sa kanila may not be necessarily acceptable in Metro Manila … Ganun talaga sa probinsiya eh,” Gonzales said.

Hindi naman sortie ng Liberal (Party) ’yun eh. Hindi ko pwedeng pakialaman ng sino mang nagbi-birthday kung paano niya papatakbuhin ang private program niya. Wala naman nakalagay sa by-laws or any political party for that matter on how to conduct your party, birthday party, wedding party, or anniversary,” he added.

Gonzales advised his party mates to be sensitive to the sensibilities of women and refrain from using lewd performances to attract voters’ attention.

“Advise siguro sa lahat ng members at lahat ng candidates in their desire to woo the support of the people, that they should also be sensitive sa mga damdamin ng mga kababaihan,” Gonzales said. Marc Jayson Cayabyab/RC

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TAGS: campaign gimmick, Elections 2016, Henedina Abad, Liberal Party
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