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FACT CHECK NED FC

VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Bani Police Station infographic wrongly claims that cursing is ‘prohibited’ by law

Cursing is prohibited and punishable under the Safe Spaces Act.

Bani Municipal Police Station 2022-08-22 False

Cursing alone is not punishable under the Safe Spaces Act. What Republic Act No. 11313 prohibits are “unwanted and uninvited sexual actions or remarks” that discriminates against a person’s gender or sexual orientation and their appearance.

An infographic attributed to the Bani Municipal Police Station in Pangasinan states that cursing is “prohibited” and “punishable” under the Safe Spaces Act. This is false.

STATEMENT

In a now-deleted Facebook post, the infographic showed:

May kilala ka bang mahilig magmura? Alam mo bang ipinagbabawal na ito ayon sa Bawal Bastos Law o Safe Spaces Act? Parusa: makukulong ng 30 araw at magkakamulta hanggang P10,000.”

 

(Do you know someone who likes cursing? Do you know that this is prohibited under the Bawal Bastos Law or Safe Spaces Act? Penalty: imprisonment of 30 days or up to  P10,000 fine.)

 

Source: Malabon Times, MALABON: Mahilig ka bang…, (archive) Aug. 22, 2022; Rommel Lopez Twitter Account, Meron po kaming kilala… (archive), Aug. 24, 2022

FACT

Republic Act No. 11313, or the Safe Spaces Act, prohibits cursing only if it discriminates against a person’s gender or sexual orientation and appearance.

“The crime of gender-based street and public spaces harassment contemplates unwanted and uninvited sexual actions or remarks. This means that simple cursing is not punishable under this Act,” explained lawyer Jake Bekema, chief legislative officer  of Sen. Risa Hontiveros,  the principal author and sponsor of what became RA 11313 in the 17th Congress.

BACKSTORY

The Safe Spaces Act, signed into law by former president Rodrigo Duterte on April 17, 2019, promotes the protection of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community from gender-based street harassment.

It prohibits the use of derogatory speech like catcalling and the use of sexist, misogynist, homophobic and transphobic slurs. It also punishes other forms of harassment such as stalking, unwarranted touching of someone else’s body parts, and public masturbation.

 

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Sources

Official Gazette of the Philippines, Republic Act No. 11313, April 17, 2019

Malabon Times, MALABON: Mahilig ka bang…, (archive) Aug. 22, 2022

Rommel Lopez Twitter Account, Meron po kaming kilala… (archive), Aug. 24, 2022

Personal Communication, Lawyer Jake Bekema (Office of Sen. Risa Hontiveros), Sept. 1, 2022

News 5, ‘BAWAL BASTOS’ BILL | Safe Space Act lapses into law, May 28, 2019

Philstar.com, With Duterte as president, implementing ‘Bawal Bastos’ law will be hard — Gabriela, July 16, 2019

Philippine News Agency, Senate ratifies Safe Spaces bill, Feb. 6, 2019

Office of the Ombudsman, Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 11313 (Safe Spaces Act)

 

(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)