Katrina Halili New Video ScandaL

Because the revolution will not be televised, but blogged

by John Emil Ramos, Philippines

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Katrina Halili-Hayden Kho sex video: Filipino officials, bloggers weigh in on scandal                                                                                   May 21, 2009 09:12

As you might expect, the Katrina Halili-Hayden Kho sex video scandal is one of the hottest topics in the Philippine blogosphere. After all, this latest video that has been leaked online involves one of the most popular Filipina sexy actresses and the beauty doctor/model Kho. He has himself seen his own share of the limelight as the former beau of the country's most well-known cosmetic and dermatologic surgeon, Vicki Belo, whose clients include showbiz personalities, politicians and members of high society.

Not surprisingly, this sex scandal has also attracted the attention of Philippine legislators and government officials, with the Palace itself declaring it wants to "go hard" on Kho, according to Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, who said the videos "affect the morals of society". 

Earlier, Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. (a former actor, by the way) demanded the revocation of Kho's medical license in a privilege speech. The National Bureau of Investigation is nowconducting a probe on Kho, who has been placed on the Bureau of Immigration watch listto prevent him from leaving the country. 

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez has said that Kho could be jailed for six years if found guilty. Amazing, isn't it, how a "sexy issue" like this can cause the Philippine Government to immediately spring into action? Unlike, say, issues such as the Philippine Book Blockade of 2009?

In fact, critics are pointing out that government officials are paying too much attention to the showbiz scandal. Here's an excerpt from the post Too much ado about Kho, too little on things that truly matter posted by Cocoy on FilipinoVoices.com.

WTF? The quickest way to make people click, download or get a copy of the sex tape is to say it is banned or it has caught the attention of authorities. I'm sure the women involved are consulting their lawyers and will take appropriate action against Kho. My point being: If you don't want to, you won't click or download or see it.

I wonder when will We, the people, go hard on our leaders for the crappy job they've been doing? Over 20 years our per capita income has not changed, whereas in the same time frame, inflation has continued to raise the prices of goods and services. The Government is so tax hungry that it is even considering taxing text messaging. Not simple text messaging, the only reason to raise taxes on it is because Government wants a piece of the pie that companies make, by allowing cross sending of text messages between networks. Hell, this country has come to the point of taxing books.

Here's Dan Hellbound weighing in on the issue:
In the midst of this Katrina Halili and Hayden Kho controversy in the Philippines, I declined to hop on the list of people who were intrigued and shocked by the now-famous sex video. I am not a fan of both individuals--I do not give a damn about the doctor, and I surely do not find Katrina Halili a vixen my eyes should feast on.

And the worst part is that people-in-authority infested on this entertainment issue instead of locking their cranium over more-important issues like The Great Book Blockade of 2009. And that angers me, The Hellbound, and the bibliophiles

The Halili-Kho video scandal has spurred the Government to turn its attention again to online porn.

"It is good for the Senate to look into this. But for me, not because of the individual characters involved [but] because of the issues involved," Sen. Pilar Juliana "Pia" Cayetano said.

The Philippines, a largely conservative country that prohibits any form of pornography, earns about P50 billion yearly in the illegal sale of pornographic materials.

Blogger-turned-Philippine legislator, Kabataan partylist Representative Mong Palatino, warned, however, that sex scandals such as these may be used by the Government as abasis for imposing Internet censorship.
Thus said Kabataan partylist representative Mong Palatino as he urged the public, especially the youth, to be circumspect in using the Net so as not to give the Government a reason to restrict its citizens' rights.

"The Internet is a very strong medium of information dissemination among the youth, and we would all do good to use it for purposes that do not intend to maliciously malign possible victims of sexual exploitation," Palatino said in a statement.

As someone who was a technology journalist for over a decade, I can attest to the fact that Palatino's fears are well-founded, as Internet pornography and sex scandals on the Web or mobile phones have attracted the attention of officials over the years every time something like this happens. The knee-jerk reaction is usually to blame the Internet and technology for society's ills--as if pornography did not exist long before the Internet was even conceived.

Over at Filipino Voices, blogger Patricio Mangubat warns that the Halili-Kho sex scandal may be used as a pretext to pass a new Philippine Cyber Law.
Hence, this Tieng bill called the Cyber Law is a primary example of a moral law which does not merit a place in our jurisdiction. It is also an exclusionary law because it punishes certain acts which will only benefit a particular sector of our society.

Besides, our Revised Penal Code have many provisions that already punish an act deemed criminal or to a certain extent, tortuous.

In Dr Hayden's case, for example, there is a bunch of laws which he violated, such as the Law on Violence Against Women, Ethical Code for Physicians and even the anti-wire tapping law. This suggest that we really don’t need a new law such as the Cyber Law to punish an alleged online offender. Existing laws suffice to address a grievance made online. Lawyers should just be creative (cross-posted over at http://newphilrevolution.blogspot.com)

Personally, I haven't seen this sex scandal video, and declined when some people asked me if I wanted to see it. Not because I'm being holier-than-thou, but because I simply have no interest in seeing it, just as I've never been curious about the other scandals before this. Frankly, if I'm going to watch porn, then it would be professionally made videos between consenting adults who get paid because that's their job, right?

Again, this is not passing judgment on those who've watched. But the point I'm trying to make is that we do have a choice whether we'll watch such videos, and how we'll use the Internet. There's such a thing as personal responsibility, after all.

I feel sorry for Katrina Halili, but I also feel the law can help her get justice without the need for this media circus in the Senate, or passing new bills. It would be sad, indeed, if what they're telling us is that you need to be a celebrity and a friend of legislators in order to get justice in the Philippines.

At any rate, I'll leave you with some examples of the video coverage of this news--no, notthose videos, heh :)

The next series of videos are below the line since the two are seen in some compromising situations. The other videos showing Kho with other ladies are... I will just leave it to your imagination, or should I say I will just leave it to your resourcefulness. No matter what the relationship is, the rule is--what happens inside the bedroom, should stay inside the bedroom.

The video is spreading like wildfire online and the pirates are having a field day selling a CD copy of the downloaded videos. I tell you, they are selling like HOT cakes.

But more than the videos are the pirated CDs. We must now think what a monster we have created in a technology called the Internet. The word SECRET no longer exists on the Web. Post something on the Net and it will be all over cyberspace--which is the very nature of the Web really. Everything is public, and the way it spreads is unimaginable. Faster than any virus known to men.

Again, I maintain that the Internet is amoral--it is neither good, nor bad. What makes it good or bad is how we use it. Think about it.

So who do we blame for the video? Kho, Halili or the Internet? Let me just say that it takes two to tango.

God bless us all!

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