Makabayan writes to Speaker, opposes showing of De Lima sex tape
The Makabayan bloc in Congress sent a letter to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez expressing its opposition to the move to show the alleged sex video of Senator Leila de Lima during the congressional inquiry into the Bilibid drug trade.
In a letter dated Sept. 29, the Makabayan bloc said the proposal of Alvarez to show the alleged sex tape violates the law, not to mention that it is unnecessary.
The bloc cited Republic Act 9995 or the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act which prohibits the taking and showing of videos of individuals performing sexual acts.
“We formally express our disagreement on the proposal to present before the Committee on Justice the purported sex video of Sen. Leila De Lima for purposes of establishing links between the drug trade and the senator,” the bloc wrote to Alvarez.
“We strongly believe that the same is unnecessary and against existing laws and public policy. The proposal violates the rights of any person in any forum whether legal, inter-personal, social, professional or political. In fact, the act of broadcasting, through any device, photos, videos or recordings of sexual acts or any similar activities of a person except for the purpose of suppressing or prosecuting the crime of photo or video voyeurism and upon court order, is one of the punishable acts under RA 9995,” according to the letter.
The letter was signed by Gabriela Women’s Party Reps. Emmi De Jesus and Arlene Brosas, ACT Teachers Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao, and Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago.
The Makabayan is part of the majority bloc in Congress which voted for Alvarez to be the speaker.
In a radio interview on Thursday, Alvarez said there was nothing illegal in his proposal to show the video during the House inquiry on the Bilibid drug trade, especially if it would establish De Lima’s purported affair with her driver Ronnie Dayan, whom inmates alleged was her bagman.
Alvarez also said the video should not be blocked as a material evidence if it would show the whole picture of De Lima’s alleged involvement in the drug trade in cahoots with carnapping convict Jaybee Sebastian, who allegedly raised campaign funds for the senator.
“Huwag masyado tayong matakot sa katotohanan (Let’s not be too afraid of the truth),” Alvarez said.
However, the law states that any video prohibited under the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act should not be admissible as evidence in a legislative hearing.
According to Section 7 or “Inadmissibility of Evidence,” any record, photo or video which violates the said law should not be admissible as evidence in any judicial, quasi-judicial, legislative or administrative hearing or investigation.
The law prohibits the taking of photo or video, as well as copying, selling, distributing, and broadcasting such videos of any person performing sexual acts in the internet, cellphone, VCD/DVD, and other similar means or device.
The law imposes a penalty of three to seven years imprisonment, and a fine of P100,000 to P500,000.
The law, however, does not render it illegal to use the sex video for a civil or criminal investigation or trial for the crime of voyeurism provided that there is a court order. CDG/rga