Senator Leila M. de Lima has expressed concern over the rising incidents of electronic violence against female students through unauthorized recording and distribution of obscene photos and videos in various online platforms.
Six senior high students from the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) were barred from marching in the graduation rites last month after they allegedly spread nude photos of their underaged female classmates.
The University of Santo Tomas is also investigating the alleged involvement of several students and a professor in a group chat circulating on Twitter containing private photos and videos of girls, some of whom are minors, from various schools in Manila.
“These incidents are a clear case of electronic violence involving female students, and if left unchecked and unaddressed, could lead more children and teenagers to do the unthinkable and endanger more young females,” said De Lima.
In the 17th Congress, De Lima has co-authored Senate Bill No. 1251 which defines the crime of electronic violence through the unauthorized recording and distribution of explicit videos and photos through various online platforms.
Under the proposed measure, inflicting electronic violence and threatening to cause electronic violence against women and children are punishable by imprisonment of 5 to 10 years and a fine not less than P100,000 but not more than P500.000.
In November 2018, De Lima also filed Senate Resolution No. 945 seeking a Senate inquiry into the increasing cases of child cybersex abuses in the country despite the existence of at least five laws to protect children from abuses, exploitation and violence.
De Lima lamented how the Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s leadership style epitomized by his fondness for vulgar language, sexist remarks and even rape jokes has promoted the culture of misogyny and distorted the Filipino youth’s sense of morality.
“Due to unregulated nature of social media platforms and other online spaces, young people are now allowed incontrollable freedom to share abusive content, if not become the victim of online oversharing themselves,” she said.
“Kung ang mismong pinakamataas na pinuno sa bansa ay walang modo, walang respeto sa kababaihan, at ginagawa lamang katatawanan ang mga sensitibong usapin gaya ng rape, at nagagawa pang ipagtanggol ng kanyang mga tagasunod, ano pa nga ba ang aasahan nating magiging impluwensya nila sa ating kultura, lalo na sa kaisipan ng mga kabataan?” she added.