Playboy, Other Men's Magazines Busted for Obscenity in Philippines

Bob Johnson

MANILA, Philippines — A host of men’s magazines including Playboy have been busted for obscenity in the Philippines.

Editors for Playboy, Maxim, FHM, and others were dragged into the Manila Regional Trial Court for printing allegedly lewd photos of nude bodies.

The action stemmed from joint complaints filed by pastors and preachers of Bible Baptist Churches in Metro Manila, led by Manila District 6 Rep. Bienvenido Abante, and a senior pastor of the Metropolitan Bible Baptist Church of Sta. Ana.

According to the complaint, the publications contained pornographic, erotic or indecent pictures that exhibited nude or semi-nude bodies, sexual acts and private parts of male and female bodies with no educational, artistic, cultural or scientific value from Sept., 2007 to July, 2008.

The complainants reportedly said that the magazines’ photos were “clearly and purely intended or calculated to draw lust, stimulate sexual drive, excite impure imagination or arouse prurient interest” in violation of Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code (obscene publication), Article 200 (grave scandal) and City Ordinance No. 7780 which prohibits the publication and sale of porn.

Among those charged were Playboy Philippines editor-in-chief Ramon Faustino, former managing editor Vince Sales, and circulation manager Clarissa Palomo.

Others included editors of Maxim Philippines (ABS-CBN Publishing Inc.); Playhouse Men’s Magazine (Atlas Publishing Co.); For Him Magazine (FHM) (Summit Publishing); Sagad (Universal Publishing); Hataw (JSY Publishing); and Toro (Nightlife Publishing).

Playboy and FHM however, disputed the charges and said the complainants made a sweeping statement of culpability based only portions of publications without directly pointing to the acts of each of those charged.

Playhouse also argued and said it has never published nudity, private parts of men and women,  and cannot be considered obscene.

Maxim futher stated that scantily clad photos of actresses were tastefully done and did not depict any sexual act or nudity.

Although the prosecutors dismissed the case of grave scandal and violation of the city ordinance, they held up the obscenity charges.

Bail was set at P24,000 (about $600) for each defendant.