Friday, June 27, 2003

New Links

I have two new links in my blog. I've been reading these blogs for quite sometime already and it was only yesterday that I learned that this is written by a friend I met in Dumaguete in the Summer of 2001. These blogs are Cloudwalker and Manumissionisms.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

This is a toothpaste commercial. (l-r Dennis, Ted, Jade and Me)

There used to be a time that when we (except with Ted) go out on for pleeshor (the term Dennis and Jade, we would always end up drunk. Pleeshor for us would mean drinking bottles of "Colt 45" or Gin mixed with lime at Slapshot, a bar just across Silliman University, or going to Disco Parties sponsored by campus organizations, or for Jade and Dennis, spending the night at waiting shed outside Villareal Hall and watching and talking about those passersby.

Sometime towards the end of 2001 (that was more than three years after we went separate ways after college), we met once again. Jade just arrived for a vacation, she is now based in New York with her husband, Dennis was in Manila for a seminar, at that time he was based in Davao working for the Presidential Assistant for Mindanao, I was just new in Manila then after a three years stint with the City Government of Dumaguete, and Ted at that Time was already based in Manila working for ABS-CBN.

Haven't you noticed the wholesome picture? Well, when Jade called that we would met, I thought we would be going to a bar, but surprise of all surprises, we had a "wholesome dinner" at a restaurant called HELLO KITTY RESTAURANT in SM Megamall! Well, some things change. We are now matured (matured? Having dinner at Hello Kitty?). Ah basta!

Of course we had fun remembering those days at Silliman and yes we had fun taking note at the irony of the place that we met.


I miss Dennis lady like voice and his shirts with plunging neckline.

I miss Jade's antics like wearing a Muslim shawl on her head while ordering pork barbecue at Scooby's Silliman or her Masscom jersey with a "Morissete" name at the back because she just love Alanis.

I miss Ted's paranoia and our escapades in Manila (and Vigan!).

I miss Ian and his black shirts and his looks that seem like assessing you everytime you meet.

I miss KK and her bitching at maarte people.

I miss Aldwyn and the way he impersonates me while dancing.

Basta! I miss my friends

Thursday, June 12, 2003


This is an article written by Atty. Elmar Jay Martin Dejaresco, my officemate who is also a DumagueteƱo ( I already considered myself a DumagueteƱo and I think I already earned my right to become one), as a result to the "Sex Scandal" that rocked Dumaguete City over the past weeks. For those who don't know the real story, kindly click this link from the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

by Atty. Elmar Jay Martin I. Dejaresco

An apparent syndicate of moneyed peeping toms have sparked outrage in the community when videos began circulating in the city showing unsuspecting young ladies having sexual intercourse in a place where they had some reasonable expectation of privacy.

In legal parlance, these sophisticated “boso-boys,” are called voyeurs. Video voyeurism, is still un-chartered waters in Philippine legislation, as it is even in many states in the U.S.

Voyeurism is one of the emerging offenses against personal privacy. The Canadian Oxford Dictionary defines a voyeur as “a person who derives sexual gratification from the covert observation of others as they undress or engage in sexual activities."

Voyerusim has been considered both as a behavioral and sexual disorder.

Many Dumaguetenos, apart from the victims and their families, feel shocked, insulted and deeply wounded by these beastial acts. This could have happened to one’s daughter, sister or relative. The people of the city share the pain and anguish.

The local governments have asked for an investigation, leading perhaps to exploratory prosecution of the perpetrators.

We strongly ask the authorities to kindly exercise caution in protecting the privacy of the victims and their families. They do not deserve further public humiliation.

Although it does provide some practical political sense to conduct investigations in aid of legislation, inviting the victims to testify in public doesn’t.
Prosecuting the culprits

Authorities are thinking of criminally prosecuting the culprits behind this scandal. But under what law?

Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Presidential Decree 969, has been tossed in the air. This provision punishes “immoral doctrines, obscene publications and exhibitions and indecent shows.”

However, the law merely punishes those who distribute the films which are “offensive to morals.” It does not punish those who conspired in taking the videos. The law is not `on target.’

But there are other laws that prosecutors must also look into.

For instance, if sexual intercourse is considered a form of intimate unspoken communication between a male and a female, then perhaps Republic Act 4200, or the Anti-wiretapping Act is worth studying.

The title of RA 4200 is very revealing: An Act to prohibit and penalize wire tapping and other related violations of the privacy of communication, and for other purposes. The law has penal sanctions.

This is not without precedent. There was a California case of a successful prosecution using their counter-part anti-evesdropping law, mainly due to the absence of a law against criminal voyeurism.

Next, is Presidential Decree No. 1987, or the law creating the Videogram Regulatory Board (VRB). By the way, President Arroyo has recently appointed the former city first lady, Atty. Christine Cuisia-Remollo as Director of the VRB, so help may just be a phone call away.

P.D. No. 1987’s `whereas’ clause states: WHEREAS, the rampant and unregulated showing of obscene videogram features constitutes a clear and present danger to the moral and spiritual well-being of the youth, and impairs the mandate of the Constitution for the State to support the rearing of the youth for civil efficiency and the development of moral character and promote their physical, intellectual, and social well-being;

The VRB is empowered to regulate the production, reproduction, distribution, exhibition, showing, sale, lease or disposition of videograms including, among others, videotapes, discs, casettes or any technical improvement or variation.

Under PD 1987 the VRB is authorized to prohibit the production, copying, distribution, sale, lease, exhibition or showing of videograms, including, among others, videotapes, discs.

PD 1987 is also a law that is worth studying.

On the other hand, rushing to prosecution would not exactly be an ideal strategy. We should bear in mind that in the event of a criminal trial, the victims would necessarily be dragged as witnesses.

The victims, may not want to undergo the harrows of a humiliating trial and would rather suffer in silence.

Fortunately, court proceedings allow the trial to be insulated from the public when the proceedings are offensive to morals.

Civil Suit

It is not expected that the victims will come out in the open and file a civil suit against these electronic peeping toms. Perhaps, the shame or humiliation of having to relate the incident in a public trial is too unbearable for the victims.

In any event, the Civil Code addresses a person's sacred right to privacy. Article 26 of the Civil Code states that every person shall respect the dignity personality, privacy and peace of mind of other persons.

Any acts of meddling with the private affairs of another would cerate a cause of action for damages in favor of the victims.

Looking forward

Amidst this nightmare, there is much that the community can do.

Members of the community should spearhead the passage of a law criminalizing video-voyeurism. The community should push for this law so that it won’t happen to innocent women from other areas of the country.

It is not difficult to look for a model legislation. By far, the laws against video-voyeurism in the States of Missouri and Louisiana in the U.S. should provide some framework with which to start.

Under the Missouri model, “a person commits the crime of invasion of privacy if he knowingly views, photographs or films another person, without that person’s knowledge and consent, while the person being viewed, photographed or filmed is in a state of full or partial nudity and is in a place where he would have a reasonable expectation of privacy.”

Meanwhile the Louisiana model defines video voyeurism as “the use of any camera, videotape, photo-optical, photo-electric or any other image recording device for the purpose of observing, viewing, photographing, filming, or videotaping a person where that person has not consented to the observing, viewing, photographing, filming or videotaping and it is for a lewd or lascivious purpose.”

Local legislators can refine and polish the model-laws against voyeurism to suit the local landscape and endorse, through a resolution, to the congressmen and senators.

We suggest that the community, including the church, civic organizations, cause-oriented groups, students, conduct a signature campaign urging the President to certify the video-voyeurism bill as urgent in the hope that its passage would not be overtaken by next year’s electoral circus.

It can be done.

The community can do a lot to remedy the city's tarnished image. Voyeurism and the distribution of voyeuristic materials should be addressed. Something good must come out of this. If the community does nothing, other people will think Dumaguetenos tolerate voyuerism and voyeuristic behaviors.

Dumaguete might just become the “voyeur-capital” of the country.

That would be a greater tragedy.

Monday, June 09, 2003

Somebody is giving my cellphone numbers to strangers. Just this past three days, I received two different calls from two persons whom I haven't met yet. when I asked where did they got my numbers? The usual answer would be, "a friend of mine who happens to be your friend gave your number to me?" Ang galing ng friend na yan?! Who is that "friend", I don't know! But I just wish he or she will stop doing that. I still value my privacy.

It is really irritating how someone would assume that it would just be okay if they gave my numbers to a complete stranger. The best thing that a person could actually do is to ask permission first.

Well, I thought I am going to fall in love again. But, it turn out to be a "False Alarm". Let us just say that the person didn't turn out the way I expected. It is difficult when you meet someone with the dim lights of a bar and with your head spinning from the alcohol in your blood, that would always result to a bad judgement call.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

I think, I am about to fall in love (finally?!!!) with someone whom I met just recently. I don't know. Let us leave it all to time.