It had been a busy Friday for me so it was only now that I got to read comments on this blog saying that Queeriosity Palace was raided by Pasay police yet again. The raid apparently happened early Friday morning, September 24, during the monthly Full Moon Party of the said bathhouse. Since September celebrants get in for free and and there is a macho dancing show that night, there would definitely be plenty of patrons inside the establishment. The police allegedly entered the place between 1 and 2 a.m., rounded up everyone—dancers, staff, clients, and the manager—and brought them all to the precinct. The supposed charge was a violation of a city ordinance against male prostitution.
Update: I’ve posted more information I learned regarding the raid.
Update 2: TLF Share, whose representative was at the precinct, has released a report on the raid.
GMANews.TV has posted an article about the raid Friday afternoon. Here is an excerpt:
Authorities arrested 10 men during a raid of a club in Pasay City before dawn Friday, a local police official said.
PO2 Fernildo de Castro told GMANews.TV that the 10 men were allegedly male dancers of the "Queeriosity Palace Co." club along F. B. Harrison Street.
Authorities confiscated several items from the club including a box filled with lubricants, condoms, and pornographic digital versatile discs (DVDs).
The first comment about the event on my blog came Friday morning at almost 8 a.m., presumably after the anonymous commenter came home from the precinct. He said, “for the second time...Queeriosity Palace was raid again last night...truly embarassing and a night of shame...”
A more extensive comment came a few hours later, telling us the sad story:
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...
The alleged extortion makes me so angry. It appears that the violation is just a pretext for siphoning off money from the scared patrons.
It must be recalled that QP got raided back in 2008 soon after the bathhouse started operating. Based on what I’ve been told about the real reason behind the first raid (see my post last year under the section “The true story behind the raid”) and the GMANews.TV article I linked above, the motivation behind these two raids are different contrary to what the commented said.
What I find interesting is that the legal basis for this second raid is a supposed local city ordinance. This is quite novel compared to the usual charges citing either Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code or the Anti-trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, both national laws and not mere city ordinances.
One sad thing is that the PLUs who were subjected to this shameful episode were helpless against the law enforcement officers. I guess we really need to educate people about their rights. Then again, knowing your rights and actually doing anything about it when faced with an actual raid are two different things. Even if you knew the right thing to do and how to fight back, I think most discreet PLUs would rather shell out money rather than have their secret exposed to their colleagues, friends, and family. Money can be (easily) replaced but your reputation cannot.
This raid at Queeriosity, and two recent raids at rundown cinemas makes me think that the “Raid Season” that Lex said is actually true. It’s a sad, sad week for the local PLU community.