Apr 20, 2008

The raid at Queeriosity Palace

Migs was the first to break the news about a police raid that occurred at Queeriosity Palace (Multiply site) at around 1 a.m. last Saturday morning, April 19. Queeriosity Palace is this new gay bath house that just recently opened on April 5 and it is owned by Wilbert, who also owns Fahrenheit Cafe in Quezon City. All the patrons and staff in Queeriosity that night were detained at the Pasay City Hall. It's not clear what the charges were but the clients were eventually released at around 4 a.m.

lOOking4LoVE, a Guys4Men member, was one of those detained and a he recounts his experience in a thread (log-in needed) at the G4M forums:

"So traumatic. My first time. and we're busted. hay. [...] kailangan daw isama lahat para malaman kung sino employee at customers. after malaman, yung customers papauuwiin daw. pero antagal namin dun. nagpapaimportante pa siguro. parang hostage tuloy kami. na hanggat walang lagay ung may ari e di kami papauwiin. [...] ang kaso kasi, ung boss police medyo mainit. naninigaw. tapos lagi may panakot mga police na ipapatawag mga pamilya ng mga nahuli e mga tago pa namn kami. dapat talaga alamin kung ano ang kaso kapag nandun. bakit hinuli? ano kaso? kaso pag instant na naandun ka mahirap pala. nauunahan ng kaba."

In the same thread, Wilbert has given his testimonial and he claims that the police told him that the tip-off came from The Mansion, a gay blue bar also in Pasay City (quote edited a bit for clarity):

"Sa mga members [na nandoon] kaninang madaling araw, sorry for what [happened] awhile ago. Kaya kayo sinama sa presinto, they just want to check kung may prostitution nga talaga sa Queeriosity at kung talagang member kayo or staff or mga bayaran. Pero, 'di ko kayo hinayaan alam n'yo yan. You're all in good hands. Ayon sa report, ang complainants ay Mansion; sila ang nag-report. Don't worry guys, this will be [the] first and the last hassle para sa Queeriosity members. Rest assured it won't happen again. [...] To Mansion management: kailangan ko [i-voice-out] itong ginawa n'yo sa akin at para malaman ng gay community. [...] Queeriosity is still open for business."

Read the thread to get a better feel for what happened and so that you can make your own decision on how to view the incident.

In an e-mail letter, which was posted in a thread at the PinoyPride.Org forums, Danton Remoto, chair of Ang Ladlad, a gay party-list group that was denied by COMELEC to run in last year's national election, shares his statement and some advice:

Dear Friends,

At 1 am, a member of the gay community sent me a text message saying that police had raided Queeriosity Bath House in Pasay and brought lots of gay men in the Pasay City Hall. Queeriosity is owned by Wilbert, who also owns Fahrenheit in QC. They were asking me for help, and for me to bring lawyers..

Unfortunately, I slept at 12 midnight. I had gone through two radio interviews and two TV interviews regarding the Cebu rectal-surgery scandal and had taught two summer classes at the Ateneo. I also contacted the lawyer of the victim so Ang Ladlad could extend counseling and legal help to him. was only able to get an update this morning at 8 am.

My friend said the gay men were sent home at four am. When I asked if the gay men paid a "token fee," my friend did not text back anymore.

What to do when the police raid a bath house?

1. Calmly go with them and make sure you have your ID.

2. Do NOT make a statement if you do not want to, nor sign anything. You should do these in the presence of a lawyer.

3. Do NOT give in to the offers of financial arrangement. You have not done anything wrong. The police raid bath houses before June (school opening) and December (Christmas) because they need money for their families.

Also, the police raid the bath houses in search of sex workers, implying that these places are fronts for prostitution. They still cannot understand that gay men-to-gay men sex is possible. Makitid talaga ang isip nila.

4. After 12 hours (minimum) or 18 hours (maximum), the police should bring you to the fiscal's office for arraignment, prior to filing a case. If not, you can file a case against the police for illegal detention. Eto ang ikinatatakot ng mga pulis, illegal detention charges.

In all the cases we handled against the police, we won because we were able to prove that bath houses and/or gay bars (yung walang nagsasayaw) are not fronts for prostitution at nag-iimbento lang ang mga pulis.

So keep your cool, keep calm, you are entitled to make at least one phone call using the police telephone and to have access to a lawyer.

Just for your guidance. Have a safe life.

Cheers,
Danton Remoto
Chairman, Ang Ladlad Party List

Interesting words I must say, but while there may ultimately be no legal cause for the detentions and while the cynics in us may call this as just another case of police corruption, the fact is, incidents like this are embarrassing for the discreet PLU. You may not end up in jail but you might out yourself inadvertently to people you care about. Ultimately, it's just a matter if going to these places is a risk you're willing to take. It's a good thing that in the Queeriosity raid, there were no media present, unlike "Oplan Lollipop" where on February 19, 2003, policemen from the Central Police District raided Alta Theater in Cubao at the behest of ABS-CBN mediamen who accompanied the law enforcers with cameras blazing.

What is the legal rationale for these raids? The charges that can be raised stem from three provisions in Philippine Law: 1) Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code or the provision against "immoral doctrines, obscene publications and exhibitions and indecent shows," 2) Article 202 of the same Code, also known as the Anti-vagrancy Law, and 3) Republic Act No. 9208 otherwise known as the Anti-trafficking in Persons Act of 2003. I'll tackle more about these laws and the phenomenon of raids in future articles.

27 comments:

lobster-tony wrote on April 20, 2008 at 12:56 PM:

Nicely written and I'm very interested to read what you have to write about the anti-trafficking in persons act.

 
Mugen wrote on April 20, 2008 at 2:12 PM:

Thanks for the detailed information vince. Nako nirecommend ko pa naman na gawan mo ng review ang QP. Pasensya na. :)

I think it was Club Bath who tipped QP. Shempre competition eh. Just like what I've said in my blog, what's so sad is that we're the ones who are destroying ourselves.

 
Vince wrote on April 20, 2008 at 5:44 PM:

Tony, thanks. Just wait for that article (but it probably won't be the next one, hehehe.)

Mugen, no, it's ok. Who knows, when the heat dies down, maybe I could visit QP in the future. Hehehe. I think the Mansion tipping off Pasay City police is more plausible than CB. CB is CB and based on my experiences there, CB has its loyal clientele and I don't think CB would feel threatened by QP.

 
Kai Santorino wrote on April 20, 2008 at 11:48 PM:

interesting read. very informative.
Danton Ramoto is correct (i mean, why wouldn't he..hehe).

I myself have been a victim of this. THough in my case, we were [just] brought to the police station because 'we were caught doing something'. Most of the time, they charge you with vagrancy but since in my case we were in a theatre house, they couldn't think of the appropriate charge to file.

Plus the fact that we were just ABOUT TO DO THE ACT, we were not caught doing it.

In the end, I was released, but the guy I met that night gave money to the police. He had no choice he said.

Read here:
http://kai-alibis.blogspot.com/2007/07/day-i-got-caught-by-police.html

 
Anonymous wrote on April 21, 2008 at 12:33 PM:

huh! i was there, myself! pano ka naman makikipaglaban sa police kung itinatago mo nga ang sarili mo? di ba? and yun yung isa sa mga ibinebenta ng club...yung discreetness...yung privacy...and then all of a sudden bigla ka mata trapped sa ganung sitwasyon!? nakaka panlumo..nakaka trauma...first time ko pumunta sa QP ganun pa nangyari...if i can still remember what the policeman has said..business permit issue ang dahilan...anyway, i might still go back to qp siguro after a month or so hehe

 
Anonymous wrote on April 21, 2008 at 2:16 PM:

i was one of the persons who was raided at around one am i saw 2 men on the second floor taking pictures. I was curious so i ask the man if it was related for an advertisement of QP. They suddenly the other guys was taking pictures of the two guys inside the cubicle. Then suddenly they told us to dress up. and the two guys handcuffered. That was my first time and it was so scary. The manager then came defending the club but later was arrested by the arrogant chief of police. At that point with no one defending us we dont know what will happen next. Then we were instructed to go out one by one inside a jeep while a guys in front of the door was taking indiviual pictures of us and a lot of people in the neighborhood was looking at us. At that point i was so ashamed. I felt i was a perverted gay criminal. I could not still believe i was in that mess where i have only seen those raids on Televisions. DYAHE TALAGA!!

 
Vince wrote on April 22, 2008 at 12:40 AM:

Thanks guys for sharing your personal experiences. Be thankful that there were no media present and that at least your exposure was restricted to the neighbors and the policemen.

As I've said, it's all just a risk that we should weigh. I guess if you're not prepared to out yourselves fully, then you should go to the more wholesome places in the meantime.

 
Kai Santorino wrote on April 22, 2008 at 10:55 AM:

it's ALWAYS risky to go to these places.

One thing though: You mentioned that the owner of Queeriosity also owns Fahrenheit? I remember a few years ago he was also involved in a feud which resulted to Cine Cafe or some bath house being raided.

So he must really have a lot of enemies? Just asking

 
Vince wrote on April 25, 2008 at 12:04 AM:

Kai, I'm not knowledgeable on the Cine Cafe issue so I can't comment on that. And yes, apparently, QP is the long-talked about "branch" of Fahrenheit somewhere in the south.

 
joelmcvie wrote on May 4, 2008 at 1:50 AM:

"I think the Mansion tipping off Pasay City police is more plausible than CB."

Er, wait a minute. So The Mansion is different from Club Bath? How come several people have told me before that The Mansion IS Club Bath. Or have they all been mistaken all along? Sana you can find a way to clarify this.

Anyway if it's true then I agree that it's a sad mistake. Having your competitor raided actually hurts everyone, not just your competitor.

 
Vince wrote on May 6, 2008 at 12:21 AM:

McVie, hey thanks for visiting. Well, as far as I know, there's a separate blue bar/bath house called D' Mansion also in Pasay very near the LRT line. There are many threads about D' Mansion in G4M and you can check this PPO thread.

I think the confusion is because Club Bath is built from an old mansion itself, so I guess some patrons nicknamed it the Mansion.

 
Anonymous wrote on May 26, 2008 at 5:37 PM:

Vince,

Sa tingin mo kaya mauulit pa yung raid sa Q? Worried kasi ako dun sa ex-bf ko kasi mahilig sya magpunta sa mga bath house (kaya nga kami nag break kasi di sya makapagpigil...hehehe)

Thanks po sa mga info nyong lahat.

 
Anonymous wrote on March 8, 2009 at 1:12 PM:

Saan ang D'mansion sa pasay? how much are the fees? i wann go there

 
Anonymous wrote on May 8, 2009 at 9:27 PM:

GUys... IM dexter. A gymfit guy (BUFF, wafu and curious at the same time tripper hehehe. I just want to ask whats with the bath house? pwde ba ako jan? Ano pwde kong gawin jan? masasarapan at mag eenjoy ba ako jan? Pano ako maka sali jan... basta i have a lot of questions .. pls do text me or call me at 09297723200 help me find my self hehehehe....

 
Anonymous wrote on June 1, 2009 at 8:03 AM:

Police will radi if guys are having sex in a public place. Queeriosity does not have a license to rent out rooms. So any sexual act conducted in prvt rooms, public rooms, shower rooms, jacuzzis etc etc..is considered a public commercial area. If guys meet up and want to have sex, the need to leave the bath house and find a motel room to rent or just do it in the comfort of their own homes. Queeriosity is not and will not be protected by the police because there are already plenty of bath houses in that area and they have the police already on their side. Wilbert should just close down because it will never work. This is the Karma that Wilbert gets due to what he did to Cine Musika years back. He had his police friends raid and raid the place till it finally closed. Not everyone knows that Wilbert did that to Cine Musika (another bath house in QC along Aurora Blvd) Kaya, buti nga sa yo Wilbert! What comes around goes around!!!

 
Vince wrote on June 6, 2009 at 10:44 PM:

Anon (May 26), I don't think mauulit iyon. It's been a year and there hasn't been any new incidents. Plus, the new owner has explained what really happened.

Anon (March 8), it's near Libertad LRT Station. I think you need the referral of a member to go in and I don't know of any members.

Anon (June 1), I don't think the insides of privately-owned buildings are considered public property in the legal sense. Also, Wilbert doesn't own QP anymore since early this year.

 
Anonymous wrote on July 1, 2009 at 12:06 AM:

To get in to "The Mansion", you need to have a referral of any member of the establishment. "The Mansion",ang alam ko" is different from the "Club Bath" and the club bath is situated along F.B. Harrison(few steps away from Shell station Libertad-F.B. Harrison).

 
Anonymous wrote on August 29, 2009 at 7:20 PM:

The ALTA Theater in cubao was raid and unfortunately I've been there. The police brought us to camp panopioand get a statement afterwards they asked us if we want to detained and pursue the case which is the "Article 201 and 202", wchich rankly speaking I did'nt know. I scared for they going to called my family and tell them that I am in their custody after a long blah, blah, blah it come to the end na pay na lang or bail, wchich I don't understand for I am only watching the movie and nothing else. I give 100 but they refuse sabi we did'nt accept that kind of money 1000 ang fine. WHAT! I shocked for I don't have that kind of money..but in the end they accept my 100 pesos. Now I know what to do when you are in that kind situation. Thanks for the information it's help me a lot...

 
Vince wrote on August 30, 2009 at 3:43 PM:

Anon (Aug 29), I so sorry to hear that you got caught in the raid. Hopefully, more guys can learn how to defend themselves against extortionist cops.

 
Anonymous wrote on February 3, 2010 at 12:01 AM:

pano kung mahirap ka at wala kang lawyer?

 
Anonymous wrote on February 25, 2010 at 4:12 PM:

Ang Pangit ng Ugali ng gumawa ng gan sa QP, pareho lang naman tayo dapat we will support each other, kahit bussiness comption, nakakahiya ang ganyang attitude ng ating mga ka Feather, gusto nila solohin ang negosyo ng kabadingan, pewde ko ba cyang balatan ng buhay then buhusan ng patis na may tinadtad ng sili. nakakalungkot na tayo tayo lang hindi pa nagkakasundo.

 
Anonymous wrote on September 24, 2010 at 10:30 AM:

it was again raid this morning September 24, 2010 on the same basis....at nakaka-inis lang naman kasi yung scenario was i think the same reason why it was raid the first time. kung alam nyo lang yung mga nararamdaman namin nun.. at 1AM Sep. 24 biglang me pumasok na police officer tapos sabi raid daw..so pinasok isa isa yung mga cabin, pinagbihis yung mga tao at dinamppot sakay ng mga jeep papunta sa presinto, pagdating dun pinapila kami tapos pinasulat mga pangalan namin para daw we were 105 customers na andun. then si allan the supervisor i believe ng Q was there with a certain friend negotaiting.. the amount was i heard is around 300K pero tinawaran down to 250K pero hanggang 200K alng daw ang tinatawad nila allan.. hanggang sa abutin kami ng pagsikat ng araw..dali dali kami pinapasok sa loob ng presinto at dun kung ano ano na narinig namin... and then there was this police men na kupal talaga pagdating sa pera... sa halagang 1K to 2K per person makaka-alis ka na. luckily i have enough money to save myself, papano naman yung mga customer na sakto lang ang perang dala? ano mangyayari sa kanila.. i mean it should had been avoided na umabot kami sa puntong iyon kung ibinigay lang ng management ng Q yung amount na hinihingi nila.. sa panahong ito wala ng di kayang tumbasan ng pera maliit man o malaki... at dun sa mga pulis na kotong.. makatulong sana sa inyo yung perang nakuha nyo mula sa amin. naway mabusog kayo at swertehin sa buhay...

 
Anonymous wrote on September 24, 2010 at 4:55 PM:

nasa website na ito ng gmanews.tv... sampu daw inaresto.... mga dancers daw....

 
monster wrote on September 26, 2010 at 2:05 AM:

isa ako sa na raid, ang sama lang ng loob ko sa management ng q dahil umabot pa kami sa ganoong oras na kami rin pala ang nagbayad dapat sana sa susunod alam nila ang mga options na dapat gawin sa ganong sitwasyon: una i prioritize nila ang kanilang mga customer, pumunta nga kami dyan dahil may mga iniingatan kami ang pamilya at trabaho, pangalawa po sana kung may bayaran man at di kaya ng management magbayad... maiintindihan na man namin, sana huminggi man lang siya ng opinyon sa amin, kaso sinosolo niya (manager ng q)!pwde na man nya siguro i request na kahit kami magbayad na lang para matapos na ang lahat kaso wala nakakawalang gana, di marunong maghandle ang managaner, dapat sa kanya mag undergo ng customer service relation>>>> ...kasi ako na po mismo ang kumakausap sa police kung ano po ba ang tamang gawin ko,ito na problima na to, ni isa sa mga kasama namin ni walang nagtanong sa police,kung ano ang dapat gawin o maybayaran ba? ang mali ko lang nagtanong ako past 5 am na, kasi ang sa akin lang baka kamo may midya, nagpapasalapat parin ako sa mga police kahit papano walang midya na nakarating .......

 
Anonymous wrote on September 26, 2010 at 2:27 AM:

isa ako sa naraid, sa management...
masama ang loob ko sa inyo una... hindi nyo alam i handle ang sitwasyon ibig sabihin hindi nyo pina prioritize ang kapakanan ng inyong guest, pumupunta kami dyan para mag unwind.. kami yong tipong mga taong may tinatago sa pamilya, sa katrabaho higit sa lahat lipunan nating ginagalawan...sana man lang kung di kaya ng managament ang amount 300k as bill, maiintidihan namin yon,ang gusto ko lang marinig mula sayo na baka o kung pwde gagawa rin kami ng hakbang kung papano kakausapin ang police in our on way kaso wala, nag antay kami at umabaot sa ganong oras, kung di ako mismo ang lumapit sa police at nagtanong kung po ba ang kaso namin? ano po ang gagawin namin? mag anatayin na lang po ba kami? kung maybayaran magkano po ba? tsaka pa kami pinapapasok sa cidg bldg. at don nagkabayaran, suma total kami rin pala ang nagbayad, sana kung ganon rin naman ang nangyayari dapat noong bandang 2-3 pa hindi na sana aabot sa ganong oras. managent dapat mag undergo ng customer service care ang iyong manager.....para sa mga police thanks kahit papano walang midya ang nakakarating.....para sa mga guest, sana nakadolot ng lesson ang nangyari sa atin...

 
Vince (Discreet Manila) wrote on September 26, 2010 at 3:09 AM:

Guys, this blog article is about the 2008 raid. I have posted an article about the recent raid (September 24, 2010). Please place your comments there to consolidate everything.

 
carlmatt lopez wrote on October 31, 2013 at 7:41 PM:

hi guyz! I'm Matt! and I'm just curious with this mansion. I want also to try experiencing it however I don't know How will it be. anyone who can invite me to join or visit the mansion just txt me here 09158526166. I'm actually bi however I pretend to be a real guy all the time so no one really knows the real me even my family and friends.