MANILA – Liberal Party (LP) senators on Thursday vehemently opposed the proposal of presenting the alleged intimate videos of Senator Leila De Lima before congressional hearings on the alleged illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
“We vehemently oppose the plan of the House of Representatives to show the alleged videos as disrespectful, deplorable, and illegal,” the LP senators said in a joint statement.
“Regardless of the authenticity of the alleged videos, viewing it is disrespectful to a sitting senator, to her person, and to the office she holds, and is violative of the law,” the statement further said.
Senators Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, Franklin Drilon, Fracis “Kiko” Pangilinan are all senators who are LP members.
The senators said a number of laws should be considered before the videos are shown including the Anti-Voyeurism Law (RA 9995) which prohibits the recording or broadcast of videos of a sexual act, among others, with or without the consent of the persons featured in the material. Such recordings are also inadmissible even in legislative hearings.
Also for consideration is the Anti Wiretapping Law (RA 4200) which prohibits and penalizes the playing of recordings of any private communication without the consent of those involved. Such recordings are also inadmissible as evidence even in legislative hearings.
They also warned of the Revised Penal Code on Crimes against Honor including slander by deed and incriminatory machinations.
De Lima’s fellow LP members meanwhile appeal to the members of House of Representatives to be more cautious of their larger roles as legislators.
Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, although not an LP member, said that showing De Lima’s video was “highly inappropriate.”
“In the first place, while that’s a fact-finding investigation, it might lead to filing of charges,” Lacson said.
He further said that if there is no probative value because nobody can authenticate the video, there was no point in showing it.
De Lima earlier denied that she was the woman on the intimate video and noted that her detractors merely edited the video to appear like it was her in it.