Friday, May 29, 2009

Lorelyn T Dumaug: On scandal and maligned publicity

Lorelyn T Dumaug: On scandal and maligned publicity

On scandal and maligned publicity

It's been like a week since the sex video scandal of Katrina Halili and Dr. Hayden Kho, both prominent showbiz personalities, seemed to infiltrate every media avenue: from television, internet, print and the words of mouth spreading so powerfully, and now the highest legislative body of the land, the Senate of the Philippines. I cannot help but give my piece of thought on the issue, as a woman myself and as a citizen of this country.

As I reviewed all issues, I came up with a brief background.

Dr. Hayden Kho gained his prominence after winning a national television show competition and eventually became the popular boyfriend of Vicky Belo, a prominent cosmetic surgeon highly in demand of actors and actresses, models and other artists. Then came the break-up late last year of 2008 of the two apparently caused by a video which the latter discovered that made her decide to break up with the former saying with certainty the evidence of Dr. Kho's infidelity.

And now the video of Katrina Halili with Dr. Hayden Kho proliferates over the internet and in a mass production of the DVD now scattered throughout the country and the world.

Katrina Halili who hails from the beautiful place of El Nido, Palawan instead of retreating to her own private world after the scandal broke out and accept the fact of losing her gained stardom and job, chose to put up a fight. She gained support from various sectors public and private, including Gabriela Women's Party-List, an organization that has its own seats in Congress, responsible for the enactment of the law of Anti-Violence Against Women and Children (Anti-VAWC), the National Bureau of Investigation(NBI) and Bureau of Immigration and Deportation, and finally the Senate of the Philippines, for a full-blown investigation.

After watching the news related to the events that transpired during the Senate hearing headed by Senator Jamby Madrigal's committee, I cannot help but feel compassion and pity for the plight of Katrina Halili. She burst in tears while openly declaring her agony in public, that she lost her job, that she is in a state of thinking time and again that every person she met has probably seen her sex video with Dr. Hayden Kho and lastly the honor of her family that has since been disgraced publicly because of the scandal. She even uttered foul words and languages against Dr. Hayden Kho.

On the other hand, I saw the incident of water splashed over the head of Dr. Kho inside the Senate Hall by a former policeman who could not help his scorn for a fellow man. (My husband says he should not be put to jail for having done so.)

At the outset during the hearing, Dr. Kho is an image of a seemingly innocent man, incapable of such bestial act, penitent in his ways and most probably tried to win public sympathy by his coy manners. His mother was there too! My empathy for her and the whole family. Katrina, on her part, looked so much like a victim, glamorous posture gone.

The presence of these showbiz personalities in the formal aura of a Senate Hall turned it into a circus.

As a woman I'd say, Katrina Halili definitely had her own lapse of judgement by getting herself involved with a man who publicly announced romantic relationship with a prominent figure. But however wrong her decision is (or sinful it is) or however her heart made her do such act (she proclaims she loves Dr. Kho), no woman deserves to be thrown into a public limelight making a most private sexual act seen by the public and accessible by the whole world at that with just a click. And to think it was beyond her knowledge, assent nor consent. I give my utmost admiration for her courage to take a stand and my empathy because what has been done can never be undone and the scandal will forever be accessible to public view. No doubt, the act of Dr. Hayden Kho is violence against women.( It is said there are still 37 sex videos with different prominent women. Whew!!! What kind of a man is he? Psyhologically impaired?) He has violated a law by merely taking the video and collecting them all at that!

As a citizen of this country, I think it is about time that our legislative department would come up with a law that punish perpetrators of this kind of scandal. I am hopeful that after this investigation in aid of legislation, justice shall be served to the victims. But I do not like it done publicly. If serious investigation must be fully done, it should be outside of public view and scrutiny where biases and public sympathy tends to sway objectivity.

Yes, they are prominent figures but they deserve to keep their private lives private. We should not feast over it and I am praying this issue die very soon in the public realm and begin to be discovered privately and a good law will come out of it rather than just being a show for public consumption and appetite.

Let us pray that the perpetrators and victims alike may have their share in silence and reflect on their actions properly. Asking for forgiveness on themselves and their victims and that no pride and arrogance shape the investigation. May woman's true power that comes from a pure virtue and not lust, be the true source of their healing and the loving touch of God be their Omnipotent Source of unconditional love. And for us all, we stop spreading the video, the site and we shall all reflect on our own private lives too!