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Yesterday I received an email from what I assume to be a comics industry colleague, forwarding an article by Buddy Cunanan on why he will be voting for Manny Villar.

This post is not a point by point rebuttal of that forwarded article. The truth is, this is not a reaction to that article at all. I am simply offering my own separate views on why I won\’t be doing the same thing.

Here was my response:

Since I received a message of endorsement for Manny Villar in a bulk email, I cannot help but offer my own opinion in return. I notice that there are many in this list who belong to the comics industry, and perhaps the art industry as a whole.

As an artist who values my freedom to express myself in my chosen field of art, I am honestly, and desperately terrified of a Manny Villar presidency. And I believe all artists in the Philippines should be.

Some of you may now no longer remember that as a Senator, Manny Villar filed a bill with the Senate called the \”Anti Obscenity Bill\”, or the Senate Bill 2464 where there is a strongly worded provision that portrayal of \”nudity\” in art will be punishable by law REGARDLESS OF THE MOTIVE of the author.

We all know the evils of pornography, and it is something I myself do not condone. But I also celebrate the beauty of art, and my God given human right to enjoy it and to create it.

As an artist, it is a bill that gravely concerns me because it has the potential to seriously curtail not only my freedoms as an artist, but my the ability to make my own choices as a mature, intelligent and moral human being.

By punishing the portrayal of nudity regardless of the motive of the author, it means nudity can no longer be portrayed by painters, filmmakers, graphic novelists, illustrators, sculptors, etc. Books on anatomy will now have to be censored, as well as medical books, history books specially on images of nudity on religious structures such as the Sistine chapel. Artists can no longer use nudity to portray innate human beauty.

Rightly so, the bill did not get the proper support in the Senate, and was shelved. Even then, by his filing of this bill, we get a definite idea of who Manny Villar is in terms of his views on art. He wants to censor it. He is of the belief that an adult Filipino is not capable of being mature enough to choose for himself (or herself) and decide for himself what to read, see, and hear. In other words, he does not believe that we can think for ourselves. He wants himself, and other people in power to think for us, and to decide for us, what is good for us or not.

This a reflection of Manny Villar\’s character, and I\’m sure this is how he will approach other issues as well. This has repercussions well beyond the field of art.

Manny Villar attended a Blogger\’s meet last year to discuss with the youth the issues that concern them. My friend Jonas Diego attended this meet, and several times during the meet, he tried to raise the issue of the Anti Obscenity Bill. Jonas was never even given the chance to properly finish asking his question before he was waved away, his question trivialized and de-emphasized.

Not only has Villar shown that he is perfectly willing to censor the artist, he is also perfectly willing to ignore us as well.

This issue is a legitimate concern and is NOT black propaganda. It\’s still up to you if you still want to vote for this man or not. But I feel that I needed to raise this issue, at least one more time just to let people become aware of just what they\’re getting into.

I myself am not endorsing anyone in this election. Who I vote for remains a personal issue. This is not a campaign to steer the vote in favor of another candidate. I just feel that come election day, everyone should be made aware just who it is they\’re putting into power.

Because by God, we\’ll be paying for it for the next six years. Election day is the one day when we have the power. I hope and pray people use that power responsibly.

Comments

34 Responses to “Why Manny Villar Does Not Get My Vote (Updated)”

  1. Jose Mari Lee on May 7th, 2010 9:37 am

    If I can only vote in this election, I would be color blind to all other colors, except YELLOW.
    Nuf’ said.
    :)

  2. Semidoppel on May 7th, 2010 5:11 pm

    Last April 27, 2010, I wrote a post entitled “Bloggers’ Choice This Coming 2010 Election “and this post contained a poll. The poll is about who among the candidates running for president and vice-president were chosen by different Filipino bloggers. I want to thank the bloggers who voted, participated and commented on this poll, as a matter of fact, a total of 211 bloggers participated. As of 1:45 p.m today, May 7, 2010, I officially closed the poll, and now I present to you the results. Please click the link
    http://www.semidoppel.com/bloggers’-choice-the-results/

  3. Ferres on May 8th, 2010 12:26 am

    “We all know the evils of pornography…”
    You mean its cumulative effect of reducing cases of rape and violent crimes?

    Stop trying to make exemptions for art but at the same time vilifying porn. The difference is too subjective. Any law attacking one will ultimately affect the other.

    Just stand for free speech and freedom of expression and let the ‘mature, intelligent and moral human being’ make their own decisions without fear or constraints.

  4. Gerry Alanguilan on May 8th, 2010 1:48 am

    There are things that are truly obscene, at least in my opinion, Ferres. Child pornography for one. THAT is truly evil. Bestiality is another. There is nothing intelligent or mature about the enjoyment of those. I do not apologize if I offend anyone out there.

  5. pam on May 8th, 2010 12:52 pm

    artists don’t view nudity as ‘bastos’. we view it as art. nothing more, nothing less.

  6. Ferres on May 9th, 2010 2:15 am

    Mainstream porn and child porn are 2 different things. So is bestiality but that is simply disgusting but doubt I can call it evil, unless someone or something is getting hurt.

    No one is asking for apologies, just clarity. Please be specific when you wish to refer to child porn.

    Because mainstream pornography and art live in the same neighborhood even though their not exactly chummy friends. And any form of Anti- Obscenity law no matter how it’s worded will act like a ‘daisy cutter’ to that neighborhood.

  7. Ferres on May 9th, 2010 8:30 am

    Just a side(irrelevant) note.
    Some people interpret bestiality as sex outside your species. With the Neanderthal DNA findings would that not mean that we are all a product of some kind of bestial activity.

    A few speculations out there; blond and red hair, multiple births(twins etc), lighter skin pigments, blue eyes, even higher intelligence are neanderthal traits. Though adaptation to tropical climes reversed the pigmentation a little.

    Kinda ironic in many levels. :)

  8. Gilbert Monsanto on May 10th, 2010 10:48 am

    Di ba sabi nga nila PORN is NOT ART. Kung di natin alam ang pinagkaiba ng dalawa. Pano pa pag napasa ang bill na iyan no?

  9. Leinil yu on May 10th, 2010 2:24 pm

    layo ata ng mainstream pornography vs. child porn, bestiality and rape porn/snuff.

  10. Leinil yu on May 10th, 2010 2:28 pm

    I guess simplistic categorizations like this is convenient, just like marijuana is lumped with crack cocaine. we like our world to be black and white.

  11. Leinil yu on May 10th, 2010 2:40 pm

    @ Ferres,

    what’s funny is that many of what we perceive as art today was intended as pornography during the time it was created centuries ago.

    Antiquity lends credence to just about anything. I agree, the line is blurred between art and porn. It is subjective Has anyone seen the Pirelli Calendars? :) high five!

  12. Leinil yu on May 10th, 2010 3:18 pm

    Bestiality:

    one’s disgust/taste should not be imposed on others. the problem with bestiality is that animals cannot give their {informed) CONSENT. if there exists a sentient, intelligent chicken (like in Elmer) and it falls in love with a human, then who are we to keep them away from each other?

    of course, I’m just sticking to purely secular arguments here.

  13. Gerry Alanguilan on May 10th, 2010 5:51 pm

    Please don’t misunderstand…. I am FOR “an” Anti-Obscenity Law. Just not the one that Manny Villar proposes that criminalizes nudity no matter what the motive of the author.

    I do agree that it’s difficult to discern which is obscene and what is not because we all have differing views on morality. I personally draw the line on the exploitation of the innocent. If films or photos are taken of subjects who are unwilling, that is obscene to me. But how can we tell? It’s hard, but there’s one thing for sure, children are there against their will, or are there because they aren’t even old enough to know it’s wrong. This goes for animals as well, as Leinil points out. Unless you find an animal who has legally agreed to sex with a human, that animal is exploited, and is to me obscene.

    I am also against showing standard pornography to children. That can come later when they’re older when they’re more mature and they have the proper faculties to decide if this is for them or not. For now, let em read comics. Not mine of course.

    I don’t mind people getting naked and people seeing other people naked, but there should be a place and time for it.

    All this can be regulated by a law, if there aren’t specific laws for each of them already.

  14. Leinil yu on May 10th, 2010 6:41 pm

    well said, man. being against “exploitation of the innocent” is a pretty good standard we can all live by and agree on.

    and yeah, Even I’m sometimes offended by virtually nude FHM covers (usually local FHM, american ones are pretty decent) that are in plain view of kids. (I guess it’s worse in japan where every 7/11-like store has browsable porn)

  15. Jose Mari Lee on May 10th, 2010 11:17 pm

    Switzerland does make sense. Children are not allowed to watch TOM AND GERRY (not Alanguilan, he-he), because this cartoon is full of violence. They hurt each other like there’s no tomorrow. On the other hand, sexual intercourse and nudity are okay for everyone.

    I guess this is the the reason why Switzerland has the lowest crime rate in the world. It is indeed the presence of violence that makes a sexual material revolting. Sexual intercourse, whether done in good taste or the Bukake way, is not that too ugly – until violence is added to it. Maybe as comics creators, we are all guilty of injecting violence in our work. It is , however, a necessary evil in writing stories. We could, actually, tone down its presence. The current video games we see are all killings and/or mayhem of people killing each other, and the crimes being committed by young people in the first world are becoming too horrific. The most shocking was the three young boys who terrorized a town in Russia and they have recorded their attacks. The video of the actual killing is so horrific. If you have the courage to watch it, try searching for the Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs video and it will give you what sort of brutality these boys did.

    Yeah. Sex is thumbs up, violence is thumbs down.
    I agree with Leinil Yu: crack is not exactly marijuana. At least Marijuana has healing properties, while crack is simply cracking one’s brains to kingdom come. And I have a flying high five for Nil!
    :)
    Btw, I’ve seen a guy having sex with a carabao in the Bicol region when I was a little boy. When I asked him what he was doing, he got startled then got angry and started hurling stones at me and I had to run like hell. But yes, I’ve witnessed it live and in living color, and it looked funny. The carabao looked like: “Hello? anybody home?” type of thingy, because she seemed not to feel anything at all. I’m not so surprised, thpugh. The guy’s dick is too little too short to be felt by the beast. The fucking (literally) Bastard!

  16. Robby Villabona on May 11th, 2010 1:24 am

    From a legal stand-point, you can’t lump child porn and bestiality together. There is no bill of rights for animals.

    I do find it peculiar to worry about how an animal feels about being used for bestiality films, when we don’t give a second thought about eating them as hamburgers. Do any cows give their (informed) consent before they’re slaughtered?

    JM, I think Switzerland has low crime rates because everybody’s rich.

  17. Gerry Alanguilan on May 11th, 2010 7:03 am

    “From a legal stand-point, you can’t lump child porn and bestiality together. There is no bill of rights for animals.”

    That’s why I’m for a law that covers this. I don’t mind eating animals. That’s not obscene for me. But if some guy fucks a chicken on screen, dude, that’s just wrong.

  18. Ferres on May 11th, 2010 2:06 am

    “I personally draw the line on the exploitation of the innocent…

    animal is exploited…

    I am also against showing standard pornography to children…”

    And no one here is saying/advocating that. Your expanding on subjects that was never intended to be raised. Seriously Gerry, you have issues.

    Anyhow… Obscenity laws of any kind, by it’s very wording will be draconian and over reaching. Just stick with an anti-child exploitation law. Much easier to narrow down without over stepping on the art community. ‘Obscenity’ is word that should not be used in law making.

    Btw; we don’t sell alcohol, cars or houses to minors either.

  19. Ferres on May 11th, 2010 2:14 am

    Jose Mari Lee, I think I’ve seen one of those. But what is behind all that anger and disrespect for life. There was a lot of pent-up rage there. We need to understand this so we can prevent it.

    “When I asked him what he was doing, he got startled then got angry and started hurling stones at me…” You should have waited for him to finish first. :P

  20. Ferres on May 11th, 2010 2:27 am

    Leinil yu, marijuana maybe bad for artists. We may lose our edge and mellow us out too much. We need our bit of crazy.

    “line is blurred between art and porn…” Exactly. And any law using the term ‘obscenity’ will always over step. Because whose standard of obscenity will be used? Cultural standard, community standard, artists standard, religious standard? They are all subjective and change overtime. What could be considered art one day could be called obscene the next.

    Hell, an image of a near naked man brutally tortured on a crucifix could be considered obscene if enough women/men? say they are aroused by it.

  21. Robby Villabona on May 11th, 2010 10:59 am

    “That’s why I’m for a law that covers this. I don’t mind eating animals. That’s not obscene for me. But if some guy fucks a chicken on screen, dude, that’s just wrong.”

    And this is why I find it peculiar. JM’s Bicolano carabao doesn’t even seem to feel the farmer getting it on behind him. But it’s ok to kill him for hamburger? If that carabao could talk, I bet he’d choose making a film over being slaughtered. Oh, and remember in bestiality films, it’s not just the animals doing all the taking. They also do some giving, if you get what I mean.

    Not questioning why something like that looks obscene to you (it is to me, too). But to outlaw it, that would be simply using your taste as the basis, not really ‘exploitation of innocent’.

    By eating farm animals, you’re already exploiting them in the nastiest, most permanent way possible. So you can’t argue ‘exploitation of the innocent’ as the basis because you’re not defending them from the other (worst) forms. Which shows it’s really your sensitivities you’re seeking to protect, not farm animals.

    Now if this argument were coming from PETA, it would be credible and consistent.

  22. Leinil yu on May 11th, 2010 2:29 pm

    @ Robby. I thought about that too and was wondering if it will be brought up.

    I think it boils down to *unnecessary suffering.* Is eating meat, specially if slaughtered properly (minimal suffering) just the same as torturing, mutilating and abusing it for fun?

    Honestly, I do feel guilty about eating meat, specially with inhumane slaughterhouses.

    hopefully, in the future, meat can be synthesized to a degree where it is indistinguishable from the real thing that slaughtering animals for meat will be clearly unethical.

    I don’t think we need a bill of rights for animals to stand against using chimps as sex slaves.

  23. Leinil yu on May 11th, 2010 2:44 pm

    @ Ferres and Jomari,

    even if we forget the benefits of marijuana (aid in cancer treatment and increasing sales of donuts), the question should be: why the hell is it illegal while alcohol is not?

    specially if the standards we use is the harm/deaths a substance causes. anyways, It’s called an illegal drug so you might as well be doing shabu and heroine.

  24. Leinil yu on May 11th, 2010 9:17 pm

    Updated: typos. last na to.

    @ Robby.
    In wartime, we kill female combatants. should we then allow rapists to have their way? we kill women but will not allow rape and sex slavery? for what’s worse than getting killed?

    But yeah, if I were a vegetarian, I wouldn’t have to deal with the points you’ve raised. BUT, *Hypocrisy is not a logical fallacy.* Call me a hypocrite, but that doesn’t make my stand wrong. In fact it is fallacious to point it out instead of simply addressing the position.

    Tu quoque. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tu_quoque

    lastly, there are worse things than death. torture is one.

  25. Ferres on May 12th, 2010 9:59 am

    Leinil, I don’t mind marijuana being legalized. I’m just not sure if it will be good for artists. I would not want to be too mellow. :P

    But it maybe helpful for volatile/violent folks.

  26. Robby Villabona on May 12th, 2010 1:37 pm

    Leinil,

    I understand what you’re saying. I think most societies have laws against inhumane treatment of animals. But in mainstream (if you can call it that) bestiality films, the animals seem to enjoy “giving it” to humans. As for JM’s Bicolano carabao, it doesn’t seem to care one way or the other. I don’t see any unnecessary suffering there. So maybe some types of bestiality should be illegal due to inhumane treatment, but what about those where the animals seem to enjoy it or don’t appear to be harmed (I’m sure everyone here has had their leg humped by a dog, so you know what I mean)?

    I’ve never heard (or seen) chimps or chickens used for bestiality films, at least not in ways you and Gerry have described. I think you may be using extreme imagery and examples to portray inhumane treatment, but the “mainstream” (again, if you can call it that) is actually very different.

    My bottom line is, you can’t be for one form of inhumane treatment of animals but be against another. I think it indicates that the motivation is not really ‘protection of the innocent’ from exploitation.

  27. Ferres on May 12th, 2010 9:56 pm

    Chimps… really?
    You might as well get a blowjob from a rottweiler. Anyone thinking of doing it with higher primates have a serious dislike for their own genitals.

    Chimps are a lot stronger than people, even Pacman. When they kill, they tear out the genitals of their opponents and they have four powerful hands to do it with.

    But yeah, it is hypocritical to frown against one form of suffering yet condone another just because the latter somehow benefit you and the former disgusts you. We’re all guilty of this.

    People should have that in mind before going off and writing laws just to suit their own personal taste.

  28. Leinil on May 13th, 2010 2:44 am

    @ Ferres. I agree. I don’t think marijuana has any benefit for visual artists anyway. I’d go as far as say that it is absolutely useless as far as visual creativity goes.

    But it does seem to have a completely different effect on Musicians.

    @ Robby, I kinda see your point specially with horse/woman sex. but perhaps we can (again) use the same standards we use on pedophilia. Clearly, we can agree that any/most normal 13-16 year old boy would enjoy sex with Kim Kardashan and yet we prohibit it.

    We really can’t tell what the horse is thinking so maybe we can just err on the side of caution? I’ve never seen bestiality videos before so I don’t know how it’s implemented. But yeah, this is open for discussion. It doesn’t have to be black or white, on and off. I hate absolutes:)

  29. Leinil on May 13th, 2010 2:55 am

    @robby,

    “My bottom line is, you can’t be for one form of inhumane treatment of animals but be against another. I think it indicates that the motivation is not really ‘protection of the innocent’ from exploitation.”

    My actions are inconsistent with my views. I think the meat industry is inhumane but yet I partake on it. It’s indefensible and I’m part of the problem. my views are pretty consistent but I’m a selfish dick:) It’s like Thomas Jefferson and slavery.

    on bestiality, again, I see your point. so elephant cunnilingus doesn’t really make the elephant suffer. But so is sex with a brain dead/comatose patient (add to that the fact that he/she has no relatives/friends), and yet both of us will prolly be against it. we know that there is absolutely no consciousness in that human shell.

    We still let our personal taste have a say on things, don’t you think so?

  30. Robby Villabona on May 13th, 2010 10:00 am

    Leinil,

    “We still let our personal taste have a say on things, don’t you think so?”

    Yes, and that’s what’s behind what I previously described of my bottom line. The real motivation is not ‘protection of the innocent’, but protecting our own sensitivities. That shows how ‘we’ (collectively) aren’t too different from Villar. We just probably tolerate more stuff than he does, but each of one has our own subjective limits of what’s obscene (I would puke if I watched scat porn, but people make these videos, so obviously there are those who buy them). If we’re not self-aware, then we tend to impose these personal standards on others using other justifications we’ve used to fool ourselves into thinking are our real motivations.

    As for big animals and humans in in a coma — people don’t eat kids and brain-dead people. But they eat big animals.

    As for horny horses and little horny kids — that illustrates exactly my point. All our laws are (more or less) consistent in trying to protect innocent and young humans from potentially harmful stuff (even if they enjoy it — cigarettes, alcohol, porn, sex). But we don’t apply the same standards for animals — we’d like to ‘protect’ them from non-consensual sex, but we exploit them in other (worse) ways.

    As for erring on the side of caution — the question becomes, why do this only for animal sex, but not for other things we do to them? Why not err on the side of caution when it comes how horses feel about pulling karitelas in the heat of the sun? About how fish feel about living in aquariums? About how carabaos feel working hard on the field? About how poodles feel about their silly hair-dos? About how they all feel about being eaten?

    Buddhists at least have a very consistent philosophy when it comes to animals — don’t do any of them any harm.

    If you feel guilty about inhumane treatment of chickens (for example), then you can buy some “free-range” chickens (those chickens that were raised with more freedom of movement and general happiness). They cost 3x as much though. They have it here in SM Supercenter Pasig. I don’t know if there is a beef equivalent here. I don’t feel guilty enough to spend 3x more on chicken. That kind of guilt is a luxury only available to the rich.

  31. Leinil yu on May 15th, 2010 6:50 pm

    “As for erring on the side of caution — the question becomes, why do this only for animal sex, but not for other things we do to them? Why not err on the side of caution when it comes how horses feel about pulling karitelas in the heat of the sun? About how fish feel about living in aquariums? About how carabaos feel working hard on the field? About how poodles feel about their silly hair-dos? About how they all feel about being eaten?”

    Hey Rob,

    point taken. I agree that bestiality porn is the most GLARING form of animal abuse despite it’s low ranking in the suffering scale. It’s the “Icky” factor in us.

    some notes:

    1. just because we abuse them in other ways, doesn’t make it *pointless* to protect them in others, don’t you think? I can point to many examples on how unreasonable this requirement is…. the environment is one) Is it *all or nothing?* Bestiality should be treated on it’s own. let’s ignore human inconsistency for now ’cause we’ll never run out of it.

    but yes, if the animals perform the sexual act on their own volition, then yes, I can’t say I can object to it without evoking my sensitivities. The only reason why I don’t look it up is that it doesn’t turn me on.

    2. so there is no difference between farmers and bestiality filmographers?

    we can point to *basic human needs/survival*.
    We are using/abusing animals for food and food production. we’ve established that. We can mitigate it by lessening the frequency to essential activities. No, I don’t enjoy horse racing or bull fighting. to me, food production seems to be more important than inter-species sex. there is a hierarchy of human needs and limiting it to the most essential ones makes sense.

    also, there many kinds of animals… from earthworms to blue whales. many levels of sentience and ability to suffer and plan. some are harmful to us. consistency is pointless and we have to use our brains.

    buddhists use pest control after all.

    the alternative is to eat tofu for the rest of our lives.

    All countries limit free speech in some ways. But we can’t reasonably say: we are collectively like Kim Jong Il. The point is, It shouldn’t be all or nothing. absolutes.

    Lastly, so would you be against Villar’s bill? And would hypocrisy and the need for consistency be enough to quell your voice?

  32. Gerry Alanguilan on May 15th, 2010 7:07 pm

    “why do this only for animal sex, but not for other things we do to them? ”

    Because the topic is the anti-obscenity law? The one about sex related obscenity?

    This is not to say the other things you mentioned is not obscene from other point of views, but those other point of views are not the one I’m talking about right now, and are not the reason I brought this topic up. This is off topic on a massive, gigantic scale.

    I’m against Manny Villar because he doesn’t want me to draw titties. WTF does this have to do with fishes in aquariums?

    Let other causes, other laws, other blogs, other opinionated bloggers take care of those. I can’t be expected to take care of *everything*, right?

  33. Leinil yu on May 15th, 2010 9:48 pm

    “By eating farm animals, you’re already exploiting them in the nastiest, most permanent way possible. [b]So you can’t argue ‘exploitation of the innocent’ [/b] as the basis because you’re not defending them from the other (worst) forms. Which shows it’s really your sensitivities you’re seeking to protect, not farm animals.”

    Ask me if I’m against animal necrophilia. If I object to sex with already butchered animal carcass or dress less chicken.

    worse forms:

    Just like fossil fuel use/addiction, our world infrastructure runs on “fuels” that include animal subjugation (food). that’s how our species/societies evolved. Someday we can/must overcome this…. but for now, we can lessen our negative impact by weeding out unnecessary animal use. expecting us to stop all of this cold turkey is untenable.

    MUST we wait until we are all vegetarians BEFORE we start fighting animal testing for cosmetics, animal bile/organ harvesting in china for quack medicine use, and pit-bull fighting?

    No. that’s just me. saving “some” animals from cruelty is more important to me than consistency.

    lastly, you are working under the assumption that the farm animals involved in sexual acts are spared from the butcher’s cleaver…and that the sexual favors they unwittingly provide their owners will buy them their freedom and a life of luxury.

    ———–
    We can’t rape or torture female convicts even if they are minutes away from the gas chamber.

  34. Tatong Jurolan on May 31st, 2010 3:55 pm

    No wonder I HAVE A FEELING that I should not vote for him… of all the things that needs to be tended seriously in our country why would he go for that.