Sun. May 19th, 2024

Balilihan, Bohol Disco Scandal Appears to be “Planted”

A video of a lewd scene involving a gay and underage man at a disco in Balilihan has gone viral on social media, sparking outrage and criticism from netizens with some sectors saying the suspect was intentionally brought from Mindanao to sow scandal and tarnish the pristine image of the town.

As this develops, Balilihan Mayor Pureza Veloso-Chatto has called on netizens all over the world to stop spreading and re-posting the scandalous video, or face legal consequences.

“There are reports of a video circulating on social media showing an indecent display during a disco held in Balilihan sponsored by the Parish Youth Ministry (PYM).

“We are having the matter investigated by the proper authorities,” Mayor Chatto said.

“In the meantime, we request everyone to please stop sharing the video and delete the ones that have already been posted especially as it reportedly involves a minor. Please be informed that possessing and sharing lewd videos involving minors are punishable by law,” she said.

The incident occurred during the town’s fiesta on Sunday, July 16, 2023.

In the video, a gay man, later identified as Mars Morales, can be seen performing a lewd act on the young man, who was surrounded by his friends or colleagues.

Intel reports have indicated that Mars Morales was picked up in Davao, hired to do a mission in Balilihan, Bohol by a politician. (Mindanao Media Reports)

Many have criticized and ridiculed the video, with residents of Balilihan expressing anger over the damage done to the town’s image, as well as that of the province of Bol-anon.

The gay man, who goes by the name “MaR’s M. MoRales” on his Facebook account, defended himself in a post on social media, stating that the incident would not have happened if the young man had not approached him first. 

Before Morales deactivated his account, he also announced that he was leaving Bohol and returning to Mindanao. His Facebook account has since been deactivated after saying “bye Bohol.”

Reacting to the viral video which has been seen by millions worldwide, a Boholano netizen named Eric Galan commented: “Klaro kaayo ang motibo nga mi adto lang sa balilihan aron mag himo ug butang nga magpaka uwaw sa lungsod.”

Galan said, “Sa una palang naku pag kita ani tawhana sa katapusang gabie sa Food Bazaar naka ingon jud ko dayon ug wala ba kahay nag sugo ani tawhana?”

Galan futher made the following observation. “Kay ngano ni kalit man silang duha ug duol sa atubangan ug nag gara gara sa dihang ni abot na si Cong Chatto. Angay ni pa imbistigahan ug kinsay ni dala nila diha sa balilihan.”

James Obedencio, another netizen, posted his observation, saying, “For the first time ni nahitabo aa balilihan nga naag in ani ug tibook bohol wala.may ga in ani?”

“Those people have their own minds. They can face the consequences of their actions. Why should it be linked to Cong. Chatto? He has nothing to do with it,” commented Am-am Balio.

For Michael Barace, he expressed: “Daghan kaayo ga post sa social media dapat actionan na ninyo kay mo reflect na sa inyong lungsod sa balilihan.”

Meanwhile, the mayor of Balilihan is currently investigating the incident and has vowed to hold someone accountable. 

Netizens have also questioned why there were no bodyguards present to intervene and alert the police.

According to Mayor Pureza, the disco was sponsored by PYM or Parish Youth Ministry of the Catholic Church. 

There have been calls for someone to be held accountable, including the person who recorded and shared the video on social media.

This incident has raised concerns about safety and accountability at public events in Balilihan and beyond.

Mayor Pureza has directed the Philippine National Police (PNP), in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), to conduct an investigation on the viral video of the indecent display involving the gay and the minor during the disco for a cause organized by the Parish Youth Ministry during the town fiesta.

In her letter to the municipal police chief, the mayor asked the PNP to assist in the filing of criminal cases if so warranted.

Chatto said the investigation and subsequent charges must include not only those involved in the incident but also those who caused the proliferation of the lewd video on social media.

In her statement on Facebook, the mayor urged the public to stop sharing and reposting the lewd video.

She warned that possessing and sharing a lewd video involving a minor are punishable by law.

Police Investigating Obscene Incident at Disco in Balilihan, Bohol

As of yesterday, reports from Camp Dagohoy indicated that authorities have started investigating the obscene incident that took place at a disco during the fiesta in Balilihan town.

In a video that has gone viral on social media, a young man can be seen sipping a “lollipop” in front of hundreds of people. The man is also seen making obscene gestures.

Balilihan Police Station Chief PMaj Rufo Barbarona Potane said that Mayor Pureza Chatto has ordered the PNP to investigate the incident.

Potane said that the PNP has tracked down a suspect who is said to be a gay person from Mindanao who is staying in the area. The suspect has been identified as 20-year-old Mars Morales.

Potane said suspects can be charged with violating Republic Act 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

The PNP is also urging anyone who has information about the incident to come forward.

“We are asking for the cooperation of the public to help us investigate this incident,” Potane said. “We want to make sure that this does not happen again.”

The incident has sparked outrage in the community. 

Many people are calling for Morales to be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

“This is a disgusting and obscene act,” said one resident. “This man should be ashamed of himself.”

Another resident said that the incident has tarnished the image of Balilihan.

“This is not the kind of thing we want to be known for,” she said. “We are a peaceful and respectful community.”

Parish Youth Ministry of Balilihan Apologizes for Lewd Videos at Disco Event

The Parish Youth Ministry (PYM) of Balilihan has apologized for the lewd videos that circulated online worldwide.

In a statement, the PYM-Balilihan said they understand the rage, disappointment, and feedback from the public regarding the videos. 

They said that the event was never intended to promote obscene actions or public scandals.

The PYM-Balilihan said they exerted their best to maintain a dignified DISCO, but there were circumstances that were beyond their control. 

They said that they had youth committees and security personnel who immediately responded to the incident, but due to the large crowd, it was difficult to control the situation.

PYM-Balilihan also asked the public to refrain from spreading the videos on social media. 

They pointed out that the videos are a violation of the privacy of the people involved and that they are damaging to the reputation of the PYM-Balilihan and the Catholic Church.

PYM-Balilihan said that they have taken steps to address the issue. They have coordinated with the authorities and have tried to communicate with the people involved. They said they have also started recalibrating their steps to ensure that something like this does not happen again.

PYM-Balilihan said that they are committed to promoting holistic formations, dignified activities, and evangelism. 

The youth organization said they are sorry for the pain that this incident has caused and that they are committed to learning from their mistakes.

More Calls for Investigation

More community sectors in Bohol are urging police and political authorities to launch an investigation into a viral video that has spread on social media that captures a shocking incident during a disco session. 

The video shows an individual committing an inappropriate act, as they are witnessed committing an indecent act in the midst of many people.

Except that of Morales, the identities of other individuals involved in the viral video have not been determined. 

However, according to the report, the individual who committed the obscene act towards a recognized minor is considered a member of the LGBTQIA+. The video, which has garnered a lot of attention worldwide, has sparked anger and concern among netizens.

Another question from the netizens is why no one reprimanded the incident, since it was videoed and uploaded.

Police said they have begun an investigation into the incident. The main objective is to identify the people involved and bring them to justice for their actions.

Balilihan Mayor Maria Pureza Veloso- Chatto, along with local officials, expressed their great concern regarding the incident and assured the public that a thorough investigation will be conducted. 

The mayor emphasized the importance of upholding community standards, decency, and mutual respect.

After this incident, community leaders and organizations condemned such behavior, emphasizing the need for stricter security measures and more surveillance of public activities. 

They called for greater cooperation between event organizers, security personnel, and law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety and well-being of attendees.

The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of maintaining appropriate behavior and respect for others in public places. It ignites discussions about the need for more awareness and education on appropriate behavior and the consequences of engaging in acts that violate social norms.

Philippine laws that may be applied to this incident

Engaging in sexual acts in public places is considered indecent and prohibited under Philippine law. The specific law that can be applied to such acts is the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines. The relevant provisions include:

  • Article 200 – Grave Scandal: This provision penalizes acts that are scandalous and offensive to decency, such as engaging in lascivious conduct or committing any acts of lewdness in a public place or within the public’s view. Violation of Article 200 is punishable by arresto mayor (imprisonment for up to six months) or a fine.
  • Article 201 – Immoral Doctrines, Obscene Publications, and Indecent Shows: This provision prohibits the production, publication, distribution, or exhibition of obscene materials, including obscene publications, shows, or performances that tend to corrupt public morals. Violation of Article 201 may result in imprisonment and fines, depending on the gravity of the offense.
  • Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (Republic Act No. 10175): Posting explicit sexual content on social media platforms without the consent of the parties involved may be considered an offense under this law. The act covers various cybercrimes, including cybersex, which involves engaging in explicit sexual acts online.
  • Anti-Voyeurism Act of 2009 (Republic Act No. 9995): This law criminalizes the act of capturing, recording, or sharing intimate or sexual acts without the consent of the parties involved. It applies to situations where a person’s privacy is violated by recording or sharing intimate acts without their knowledge or consent. (With reports from Ven Rebo Arigo)

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