Ballet Philippines Legal Counsel Atty. Lorna Patajo-Kapunan conducted a lecture on Cyber Bullying at the Ballet Philippines Studio last November 28, 2023. The widely respected attorney and legal mind has long been an advocate for human rights and women’s issues. Her talk on Cyber Talk was her way of spreading awareness on the on-going threats and issues particular to today’s digital generation.
Kapunan began her lecture by defining cyberbullying as “any bullying done through the use of technology or any electronic means”. This includes any form of online bashing, trolling, and sextortion. She further explained that cyberbullying can lead to serious consequences such as depression, alcohol and drug abuse, and suicidal inclinations.
The attorney explained that anyone can take action when faced with cyber bullying. “Do not suffer in silence”, she said. “You may report bullies to the PNP or NBI.”
For bullying acts done in a school setting, Kapunan mentions that the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013 allows “any member of the school administration, student, parent or volunteer can immediately report any instance of bullying or act of retaliation witnessed, or that has come to one’s attention, to the school principal or school officer or person so designated by the principal to handle such issues, or both.”
When handling bullying at home, Kapunan says that the first step one should take is to unfriend, unfollow and block the aggressor. However, saving evidence such as screenshots may also be beneficial when building a case. Ultimately, Kapunan wanted to spread a positive message to those who may be experiencing bullying in silence. “Stay positive,” she began. “Ignore the messages. Take a [social media] break.”
Atty. Kapunan then discussed The Safe Spaces Act, explaining the protective measures that the law has done to penalize gender-based sexual harassment in the streets, public spaces, online, workplaces, and educational or training institutions. The act recognizes that both men and women are equal, and must always have the right to security and safety wherever they are.
One topic that garnered interest was the “Citizen’s Arrest”, which allows a private person to arrest without the need of a warrant when witnessing another person committing Gender-Based Streets and Public Spaces Sexual Harassment. However, Kapunan encourages those who do attempt Citizen’s Arrest to never go at it alone. “Always look for help,” she said. “It may be dangerous to do it alone.”
To conclude her lecture, Atty. Kapunan mentioned that her doors were always open to the Ballet Philippines company if they were ever to experience cyberbullying or sexual harassment at any capacity. “Free of charge,” she said.
To see Atty. Patajo-Kapunan's updated presentation on this, visit the
Caring for Us
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