Filipinos say no to slut-shaming of senator with Everywoman campaign

Romil Patel
Philippines #Everywoman

Filipino netizens are mobilising across social media to speak out against slut-shaming and violence against women. The movement is in response to threats to show an alleged sex tape of Senator Leila de Lima in a committee hearing.

"I would like to testify in the HOR [House of Representatives]. It was me in the sex video. #EveryWoman," was a widely-shared post on Facebook and Twitter. The vice president's eldest daughter, Aika Robredo, and well-known writers including Ninotchka Rosca, Aida Santos and Susan Lara responded to the call.

Liberal Party senators including Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan and Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV rallied around their colleague to voice their opposition to the proposal. "We vehemently oppose the plan of the House of Representatives to show the alleged videos as disrespectful, deplorable, and illegal," they said in a joint statement.

While the movement gained significant momentum, it was not an endorsement of the former justice secretary's political views. "Doesn't matter if you believe her or not. I'm taking a stand against attacks on a woman, period," writer Libay Linsangan Cantor wrote on Facebook.

She added: "#Everywoman #Everyman we're all in this together, because when you slut shame women, you're teaching boys and sons to be bastos [vulgar] to girls."

The vice president herself has spoken out against efforts to show the alleged sex tape before a House inquiry on the proliferation of drugs inside New Bilibid Prison. "As a former legislator, I fail to see how this will contribute to a substantial discussion of issues being taken up," Leni Robredo said.

"As a lawyer, I believe that this act may be a violation of penal laws. And as a long-time advocate for human and women's rights, I am profoundly disturbed by a proposal that amounts to the public shaming of a woman and the infliction of grave harm on her dignity as a human person."

Leila de Lima

Earlier this week an exasperated De Lima called out President Rodrigo Duterte, telling him to arrest her amid allegations of her involvement in the narcotics trade. "I'm here. Do what you want to me, Mr President. I will wait for you," she said.

She added: "I'm not going to leave this country and escape anything because there is nothing to escape from."

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