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Friday, October 9, 2009

Bill penalizing video, photo voyeurs gets House OK

The House of Representatives, in plenary session, has approved a bill penalizing video and photo voyeurism.

Congressmen said the approval of the measure, to be known as the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009, was spurred by the proliferation on videos of individuals caught unaware in obscene acts, the most recent of which were the sex videos of Hayden Kho of the Belo Medical Group.

Under the bill, violators will be penalized by an imprisonment ranging from six months to six years and a fine of P100,000 to P500,000.

The bill provides that if a violator is a juridical person, it will result in the automatic revocation of its license or franchise, and its officers will be deemed liable, including the editor and reporter if it is in the print media; and the station manager, editor and broadcaster if it is in the broadcast media.

If the offender is a public official or employee or a professional, he or she will also be held administratively liable.

A foreigner guilty of the act will be subject of deportation proceedings after serving his sentence and payment of fines.

Lakas-Kampi-CMD Rep. Monico Puentevella of Bacolod City, principal author of the bill, said many individuals have been victimized by photo and video voyeurs who post on the Internet and different media the photos and videos showing the victims’ private parts and intimate moments.

“This is a clear violation of the subject individual’s dignity and right to privacy,” Puentevella said.

He said the approval of the bill is a right step in specifically punishing such dastardly acts.

Lakas-Kampi-CMD Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr. of Manila, another author of the bill, noted how the recent scandals have put the country and the people in a bad light before the whole world.

Abante said the passage of a law that is clear and stringent enough to deter the recurrence of such act is both relevant and timely.

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