By KIMBERLIE QUITASOL and FRANK CIMATU
First published in Baguio Chronicle on September 17, 2022.
BAGUIO CITY–A vlogger in Benguet was charged with online sexual harassment after he allegedly posted sexist and threatening comments against a female netizen and so became the first test case for the Cordillera under the Safe Spaces Act (Republic Act No. 11313), more popularly known as the “Bawal Bastos” law.
Renan Landocan Padawi, known in the Internet as “Jackfloyd Sawyer” and a resident of Itogon, surrendered but posted bail on Sept. 8 for the “gender-based sexual harassment” charge now being heard by Judge Mylene May Adube-Cabuag of the Municipal Trial Court of La Trinidad, Benguet.
The complaint was filed by La Trinidad resident Mia Magdalena Capuyan Fokno, who claimed she was attacked online by Padawi when she discussed the July 27 Abra earthquake and had contemplated on the whereabouts of the President on her wall.
Padawi defended President Marcos later the same day.
“5:05 naramdaman mo ba yun mia! Cnong may kasalanan! Sungbat! (5:05 Did you feel that, Mia? Whose fault was it? Answer!)” in an apparent reference to the earthquake.
On July 28, Padawi posted a video where he became more brazen and gave sexist shade on Fokno: “Kulang ka lang sa dilig (You just need watering).”
He further said, “Ano ka ba? Sino ka ba talaga? Ha! Gusto mong mag face-to-face tayo? Para ligawan na lang kita para manahimik ka dyan. Kung makapag … akala mo naman kung … Mmm! (What kind of person are you? Who are you, really? You want to meet face-to-face … So I can court you to keep you quiet).”
“Huwag kang ano dyan Mia Magdalena ah. Baka pag nagkita tayo, s**t, ibabangka kita sa dagat na walang hanggan (Stop what you’re doing, Mia Magdalena. Should we meet, s**t, I will take you on a boat ride to an endless sea)!” Fokno quoted Padawi in her affidavit.
As of writing, Renan Padawi has not taken down his vlog where it was viewed more than 79,000 times, with 2,400 reactions, and shared almost 400 times and likewise drew 400 comments.
“I feel unsafe online and in the real world. I have been suffering sleepless nights, public ridicule, embarrassment, anguish, and [my] freedom of movement [has been restrained] because I fear for my safety,” Fokno said in the affidavit.
The Office of the Benguet Provincial Prosecutor filed the charges against Padawi, after concluding that his social media posts breached Section 12 of RA 11313.
“By making and uploading … the subject video clip, the respondent clearly committed the offense. First, he terrorized and intimidated the complainant. Second, he used information and communications technology [to harass] the complainant,” Assistant Prosecutor Jurgenson Lagdao said in a four-page resolution that was issued on Aug. 25. Lagdao said Padawi expressed “unwanted sexist remarks” and had “commented with sexual overtones” to antagonize Fokno.
Court records showed that the vlogger’s bail was originally set at P50,000, but Padawi had requested the court for a lower amount, citing “financial constraints,” and had claimed that his family could only raise P25,000. Padawi was allowed to post a P30,000 bail bond instead.
The penalty of prision correccional in its medium period or a fine of not less than One hundred thousand pesos (₱100,000.00) but not more than Five hundred thousand pesos (₱500,000.00), or both, at the discretion of the court shall be imposed upon any person found guilty of any gender-based online sexual harassment. The duration of the penalty of prision correccional shall be from six months and one day to six years. # nordis.net