To suppress the proliferation of secretly produced sex videos, the Nacionalista Party (NP) led by Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. is pushing for the swift passage of new legislation that would define and penalize the crime of video voyeurism.
“A specific law against video voyeurism would be helpful in reinforcing existing privacy and anti-obscenity laws as well as special statutes protecting women and children from abuse and exploitation,” said NP spokesperson and former Cavite Rep. Gilbert Remulla.
“In some U.S. states, video voyeurism is already penalized. Canada classified video voyeurism as a sexual offense in 2005. In the United Kingdom, non-consensual voyeurism became a felony in 2004,” Remulla pointed out.
Remulla stressed the need for Congress to ensure that the country’s penal laws “are highly responsive to rapid advances in communications technology, including the explosion in broadband Internet access and the affordability of mobile telephone videos and miniature cameras.”
He noted that countless stealthily produced sex videos of Filipino women already found their way to the Internet even before actress Katrina Halili came forward to condemn Hayden Kho.
“We also recognize as a growing problem the fact that furtive videos are increasingly being used in extortion, or to torment individuals, including girls in dating relationships or women in informal marriages. This has to be addressed right away,” Remulla said.
Remulla also cited the need for the National Bureau of Investigation, the National Police and the Optical Media Board to acquire the new technologies and expertise needed to electronically pin down producers and peddlers of secretly taped sex videos.
“Law enforcement agencies should be able to demonstrate that they have the superior resources to quickly trace and apprehend offenders. This way, we actually discourage the crime,” he said.
The Senate committee on justice and human rights has already endorsed for floor debate and approval a bill seeking to criminalize video and photo voyeurism.
Introduced by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, the bill defines video and photo voyeurism as the act of capturing an image of the private area of a person without her or his consent, and knowingly performing the act under circumstances in which the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy.