By CHRISTIAN WAKEFIELD, Reporter
THE provincial government of Cebu yesterday filed criminal charges against the organizers, sponsors, and venue owners of the bikini show allegedly for defying an executive order which bans the holding of bikini shows during Holy Week.
The organizers, sponsors, and venue owners were sued after allegedly violating an executive order which Cebu governor Gwendolyn Garcia issued before the Holy Week as part of the implementation of the provisions of the Provincial Women’s Development Code of Cebu.
Part of the executive order provides: “Beauty contests which tend to commodify, abuse, humiliate and treat women as sex objects shall be strictly prohibited in schools, communities, and barangays.”
Likewise, Garcia has expressed her disgust after she learned that public officials––and even the local police––have defied her order against the holding of bikini shows, especially in Bantayan Island, during the Holy Week.
If found guilty, the organizers and owners of the resort in Bantayan Island will be stripped of their permits.
Sta. Fe town mayor Jennifer Illustrisimo and other local officials are expected to meet with Garcia today to shed light on the issue. This, as Garcia warned that local officials will also be held liable
for the violation of the executive order.
Earlier, Manila Bulletin photographer Cheryl Baldicantos managed to take some photos of the bikini show on Good Friday despite the alleged “media ban” allegedly imposed by the resort owners, and the organizers.
“I shall be requesting the local officials of Sta. Fe as well as the police assigned (at Sta. Fe) to show cause why they should not be included in the filing of charges,” the visibly irate Garcia said.
She said bikini open, where female contestants wear only skimpy bikinis infront of live audience, is a form of entertainment that clearly degrades the image of a woman even as the organizers think otherwise.
Bikini contests are popular during the Holy Week as tourists flock to the different beaches and resorts in the province, especially in Bantayan Island where people feasts on lechon and hold parties on Good Friday.
The bikini open ban, she said, will not be for the Holy Week alone but for the entire year.
Garcia also ordered Cebu Provincial Police Office Director Carmelo Valmoria to monitor the holding of beauty contest in the province and ensure that no bikini contests will be conducted.