Monday, June 18, 2012

Stalkers beware, bill aims to make you criminals


Stalkers may soon be compelled to admire quietly and from a distance, now that proposed anti-stalking laws have been filed in both houses of Congress. And the stalked like Ara MIna need no longer feel helpless.

At the Senate, Senate Bill 2442 seeks to penalize stalkers with imprisonment, a fine, or both, according to a report on "24 Oras."
The bill, filed by Sen. Manuel Villar Jr., said stalking may include the following acts:

  • repeated phone calls for no legitimate reason
  • sending messages without introducing oneself, or using rude words
  • repeatedly going to a target's home or office
  • frequently following someone
  • making a scene

Under Villar's bill, such acts may be punished with jail time of one to six months, and/or a fine of P1,000 to P5,000.

At the House of Representatives, a report on Journal Online said the anti-stalking bills filed there included:

  • House Bill 5099 by Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado Macapagal Arroyo and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo
  • House Bill 3367 by Sorsogon Rep. Salvador Escudero III
  • House Bill 6114 by Buhay party-list Reps. Irwin Tieng and Mariano Michael Velarde.

The report said the Philippine National Police's Police Security Protection Office (PSPO) welcomed the bill, saying it would define and penalize specific acts tantamount to stalking.

Presently, the PSPO is guarding at least 1,000 personalities who face security threats.

Such a proposed measure is also welcome for public figures, including celebrities who have had to deal with stalkers.

Ara Mina's case

The 24 Oras report cited the case of actress Ara Mina, who recalled an admirer stalking her for five months.

She said the stalker would on occasion talk to her and send her messages and even propose marriage.

"Paglabas mo ng bahay andun na sya nakaabang... Any time, any moment, kung di matino ang pag-iisip nya, baka kung ano ang pwede nyang gawin sa yo eh," Ara Mina said.

(When yo go out of your house, he's there waiting... Any time, any moment, if he isn't in the right frame of mind, he could do anything to you.)

During that time, she said she feared for her safety because he might do anything to her.

While she reported the stalker to police, police could not hold the man because there is presently no law against stalking.

For now, the PNP could only advise targets of stalkers to report the incident to police, gather evidence, change their time and route home, and install closed-circuit television systems at home.

Trending on Twitter

The "Anti Stalking Bill" also trended among Twitter users in the Philippines on Thursday, as netizens debated over whether the bill's potential passage would prevent starstruck fans from following their favorite celebs on social media.


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