As I blogged yesterday, I got several comments saying that Queeriosity Palace got raided for the second time. To clarify, QP has been under new management since early 2009 and this is the first time the bathhouse got raided since that time. Since I posted that article, I got several more comments and a couple more accounts of the raid from two of the victims.
Update: TLF Share, whose representative was at the precinct, has released a report on the raid.
I asked around and a source told me that the macho dancing show was already long done before the raid happened and that the dancers were not among those detained by the Pasay City Police. The GMANews.TV report saying that 10 “alleged male dancers” were arrested is therefore wrong and it was apparently based on the police logbook. This logbook entry was supposedly written by the police there to justify the raid.
Based on a source, it was obvious from the start that the police conducted the raid simply to extort money from the establishment and the patrons. For one thing, the Pasay City Police already knew what Queeriosity Palace is from the first raid. If the establishment is illegal, why do the raid only now and not before? Second, since the show was already long done when the police entered, there was no way they could justify the human trafficking charge since nothing that could conceivably be tied to prostitution can be seen at that time. Third, based on the accounts of the commenters and my source, the police were asking hundreds of thousands of pesos from the manager of QP and that the police took the cashier’s box and confiscated wallets and other valuables, even breaking the safety deposit boxes in the bathhouse where these were kept. Money is simply what these bastard police were after!
According to my source, among those who tried to help secure the release of the patrons were people from TLF Share Collective and Akbayan. A representative from Akbayan managed to tweet about the raid and their efforts to help the PLUs that night. Shown below are some of the tweets:
1:37 am: Another gay establishment got raided and we're in need of lawyers. If you're still up and willing to do pro-bono work, we need you. DM me.
4:06 am: 105 MSM got arrested. Police says they'll be charged for violating the anti-trafficking law.
7:51 am: was told by the police earlier, o, Akbayan kayo, e bakit kayo pumapasok sa kalaswaan. Di ba bawal yung chukchakan ng pareho lalaki?
8:01 am: The police took the money or the cellphones of the clients.They left nothing,not even fare money.Some asked for coins so they can go home.
The third tweet above and my source tells me that the police questioned those who were trying to help why they tolerated men having sex with other men and saying that it was “immoral” and “illegal.” (COMELEC, is that you?) Are the inept Pasay City Police trying to deflect the blame for their unjustified detention of PLUs? Have they even read the brilliant skewering done by the Supreme Court in proving that being gay and having gay sex is not illegal in this country?
As for the silence from the bathhouse management, I’ve been told that they could not release a full statement now since they are preparing various legal remedies with the help of some powerful people and that they do not want to preempt things. I hope that what they are doing will finally put a stop these stupid raids.
Paging President Aquino! You won on a campaign promise of ridding the government of corruption. Well, here’s a clear case of police extortion that happened in your backyard. Do you have the political will to prevent these kinds of things under your watch?