MANILA - Female members of the House of Representatives (HOR) urged their colleagues to observe "interparliamentary courtesy and decency" by not showing an alleged sex video of Senator Leila de Lima.
"The plan to show an alleged video of a Senator in the performance of a human act has nothing to do with what the House Committee on Justice is investigating," a statement from "the women of the HOR" read.
"As we women, we take offense in any action that intends to shame and demean us. The path towards the truth should not be paved with the dignity of women to be trampled upon," they said.
Justice secretary Vitaliano Aguirre and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez have earlier given green light to show the alleged video during the House Committee on Justice's hearing on the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
Aguirre said the video would help establish the close relations of De Lima and her supposed bagman, driver and lover Ronnie Dayan.
"Let us not allow this to happen in our House, which has built a strong image as a protector of women's rights and welfare," authors of the statement added, saying that the lower chamber is "at a juncture where our maturity as an institution is being tested."
The statement ended with a note that said that "truth and justice should prevail" alongside the "decency and the dignity of women."
As of Friday afternoon, at least 18 congresswomen have already signed the statement, while seven other male lawmakers joined their colleagues' call for the protection of women's rights and dignity within the halls of the lower chamber.
--- with a report from RG Cruz.