LGUs also responsible for shows—priest

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MANILA, Sept. 30, 2014—To ensure future fashion shows will meet acceptable community standards, a Catholic priest said local governments should carry out their duty of monitoring events that happen within their jurisdictions.

“It’s not about the show per se, but perhaps the local government is responsible for monitoring the event itself,” said Fr. Jerome Secillano in an interview over Church-run Radyo Veritas.

The priest, who is also the executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Permanent Committee on Public Affairs, stressed that officials of local government units (LGU) have the responsibility to inquire with organizers about the nature of an event to be held in their areas before giving permits.

“If they actually see that such an event is already bordering on [the] pornographic, and it will destroy the moral fiber of the community, then the LGU which issued the license to the company [sponsoring] the event to take place, has all the right to stop it,” explained Secillano.

The youth group YouthPinoy has since called on the public to boycott Bench products in protest of the recent "The Naked Truth" fashion show.

Secillano said LGUs may even set specific terms and conditions for events taking place within their jurisdictions, reserving the right to halt an event if proven to have elements that “threaten morality”.

The priest pointed out that LGU officials must take the monitoring of events seriously.

Local clothing brand Brench drew flak online following a fashion show it staged Saturday, September 20, which many netizens found “offensive”, “dehumanizing”, and “pornographic”.

Dubbed “The Naked Truth”, the event featured a female model in skimpy clothing being pulled along on all fours like a dog by actor Coco Martin who was playing master to his “pet”.

Sr. Mary Anthony Basa, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Culture (CBCP-ECC) commented that shows like this, with its focus on the cultures of consumerism, materialism, and gratification would have people believe that human bodies are like items being sold at a department store, and that the human person was not created in the image and likeness of God.

“Society is becoming permissive with its culture of consumerism which treats the body, which is supposed to be the temple of the Holy Spirit, as a commodity,” said she.

The management of Bench postd an apology on its Facebook page, but later took it down without explanation. (Raymond A. Sebastián)

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