Playing the alleged sex video of Senator Leila de Lima at the House of Representatives' investigation on the illegal drug trade at the national penitentiary would be a "state-sponsored assault on women," a senator said on Tuesday.
In an interview with ANC's Headstart, Senator Risa Hontiveros said showing the supposed video is a violation of the Anti-Photo and Voyeurism Act and the Anti-Wiretapping Act.
"Would the representatives want to be party to a sex crime? And would we in the Senate want one of our colleagues be the victim of a sex crime?," she said.
"If the good representatives in the House pursue that, they would also be violating a time-honored tradition of affording fellow and sitting legislators inter-parliamentary courtesy," she added.
Several allies of President Rodrigo Duterte, including House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, have said playing the video would establish De Lima’s close ties with her former driver, Ronnie Dayan, who allegedly received drug money from Bilibid for De Lima.
Female members of the House of Representatives (HOR) urged their colleagues to observe "interparliamentary courtesy and decency" by not showing an alleged sex video, and Hontiveros noted that female senators have also voiced their opposition.
"Misogyny and sexism in our society—hindi lamang sa ating gobyerno, hindi lang sa Office of the President [not only in the government, not only in the Office of the President]—yun yung dahilan [that is the reason] really that we women senators crossed party lines, like the women representatives, because this is really, this would be a state-sponsored assault on women if they had pursued, if they will pursue the showing of the video," she said.
She maintained, it is the prerogative of the representatives to pursue the investigation, but showing the said video is the "point of no return."
"I am also closely monitoring the proceedings there, pero ika nga, yun yung totoong crossing the Rubicon kung ipakita nila yung video na ‘yan," she said.
[I am also closely monitoring the proceedings there, but showing that video would be the real crossing the Rubicon.]
Hontiveros argued, she may not be a lawyer, but there would be many others who would advise the members of the House on "much more solid, better, and decent ways of building their case."
"If all they have to rely on for their case is a fake sex video—and I pity the poor woman, kabaro of ours also, whom they got to act as Senator Leila—then maybe they don’t have any case at all," she said.
She added, she stands with De Lima in asserting that it is not her in the video.
"Regardless yung drug accusations—let them build their case on that—higit sa lahat, if they were to show that video, talagang pambabastos sa babae. Hindi natin puwedeng palampasin ‘yan," she said.
[Regardless the drug accusations—let them build their case on that—more than anything, if they were to show that video, that would truly be an insult to women. We cannot let that pass.]
She also called on Duterte to set a good leadership example.
"He’s the one that citizens should really look up to to set the tone na kung may debate, kung may atake politically, to keep it on the level of issues, hindi moralistic because that is not ethical either. Saka kung may kasong ihahain tungkol sa droga, then, again, pursue it through solid case building and proper legal processes," she said.