Egay Uy .
LET there be no sexual activities in the movie houses.
Gone viral was a video clip of a young couple that did their act (that was supposed to be private to them) allegedly in a mini-movie house somewhere around town. The viral video was posted on a porn site and was viewed, as of a few days ago, for more than seventy thousand times already. I have not met the victim of the viral video but I could merely imagine the ordeal she must be undergoing.
As reported and allegedly confirmed by the victim, the video clip was taken in a mini-movie house right in the center of the business district of the city. This prompted the Regulatory and Complaint Board inspectorate team to check on several movie houses last week. I accompanied the team to see for myself the real situation.
One of the movie houses we checked had at least four of about six showing rooms occupied. The rooms were covered with red carpet and the couches were colored black. I thought to myself this could be the place where the viral video clip was taken.
As we were introducing ourselves and talking to the employee manning the counter of the movie house, our accompanying police officer called me to see for myself an actual sexual act being performed inside one of the showing rooms.
We could have barged in immediately because the door had no lock and the act was performed in plain view through but we did not want to embarrass the couple so we called the attention of the employee who knocked first on the door. This gave time to the couple to compose themselves before we entered the showing room.
We found out that the couple were students of a big university as their identification cards revealed. While they were already of age, we warned them that their private acts cannot be performed in a public place such as a mini-movie house.
The whole point of this “report” is directed to mini-movie house operators, that they must be extra vigilant in operating their business. Movie house operators cannot just ignore the reports that their showing rooms are being used as “love nest” by ingenious couples who prefer mini-movie houses instead of the more private motel or lodging house rooms that reportedly cost much higher. Besides, these mini-movie houses are more convenient to go to since they are located right in the immediate neighborhood and there is no “stigma” attached to watching a movie unlike that which is attached to checking in to a motel.
As a reminder, Republic Act 7610, a law that provides extra protection to minors against abuse and exploitation, provides sanctions to businesses that promote, facilitate or conduct activities constituting child prostitution and other sexual or other acts of abuse. It also provides such businesses “shall be immediately closed and their authority or license to operate cancelled.”
The owner or manager of the business may also be prosecuted under RA 7610, the Revised Penal Code, or other special laws. It also provides for the presumption that “an establishment shall be deemed to promote or facilitate child prostitution and other sexual abuse, child trafficking, obscene publications and indecent shows, and other acts of abuse if the acts constituting the same occur in the premises of said establishment.”
Let this be a fair warning to all businesses under the jurisdiction of the Regulatory and Complaint Board. And let there be no sex in the movie houses.
(Egay Uy is a lawyer. He chairs the City’s Regulatory and Complaint Board, co-chairs with the city mayor the City Price Coordinating Council, and chairs the city’s Joint Inspection Team. He retired as a vice president of Cepalco.)