JUNE 11, 2013

NR # 3131B

Women and children to get protection against bullying
Re-elected lawmakers vowed to push for the passage of a bill criminalizing bullying people who are considered as “marginalized, oppressed and powerless (MOP).” House Bill 6386, authored by Rep. Christopher Co (Party-list, Ako Bicol) in the 15 th Congress, declared that verbal abuse especially against women and children who are considered “MOP” as a crime. At present, Co said women, children, religious minorities, the LGBT community and indigenous peoples are still subject to physical and verbal abuses. “These abuses are committed by those who are close-minded and discriminate against them. No one has yet been prosecuted for these constitutionally offensive acts,” said Co. Under the bill, some of the acts considered bullying include any unwanted physical contact between the bully and the victim like punching, pushing, shoving, kicking, slapping, tickling, headlocks, inflicting pranks, teasing, fighting and the use of available objects as weapons. Likewise, any act that causes damage to a victim’s psyche and/or emotional well-being is considered bullying. Another bullying act is any slanderous statement or accusation that causes the victim undue emotional distress, like directing foul language or profanity at the target, name-calling, tormenting and commenting negatively on the victim’s looks, clothes and body. Any act of discrimination where a person physically or verbally abuses another because of race, ethnic origin, religion or religious affiliation or beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, social status, age, looks or political beliefs is classified under bullying. Any person who commits any acts as provided under the proposed statute shall be penalized by imprisonment for a period of not more than six months and/or a fine of not more P100,000 taking into consideration the circumstances and gravity of the offenses. “In order to attain equality and social justice and maintain democracy, the State needs to install measures to prevent undue suffering of the marginalized through the bullying of perpetrators and to prevent MOP-bullying in society,” he said. The bill, co-authored by Ako Bicol Partylist Reps. Rodel M. Batocabe and Alfredo A. Garbin Jr., will be reintroduced in the 6th Congress. (30) mvip

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