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MANILA, Philippines - More charges were slapped by the Department of Justice against a couple accused of producing violent videos showing scantily dressed women torturing small animals, according to the nongovernment organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia.
Suspects Dorma and Vicente Ridon, who are being held at the La Union Provincial Jail for allegedly committing child abuse and cruelty to animals, were further charged with violating Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Protection and Conservation Act, Republic Act No. 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, and additional child abuse violations.
Among the 68 so-called "crush videos" allegedly produced by the Ridons feature a rabbit that was skinned alive; rabbits who were flailed and screamed at while their ears were cut off. It was eventually set on fire; a dog who was burned with a clothes iron; a monkey and several dogs who were repeatedly hit in the eye with the sharp end of a stiletto heel; and puppies who were crushed until they vomited their own internal organs.
According to authorities, six girls between the ages of 12 and 18 were promised by the Ridons that they would be employed as babysitters. But the girls were instead allegedly forced into torturing the animals.
"Manila is 'ground zero' in the international war against the vile crush-video industry," said PETA Asia Vice President Jason Baker in a statement released to the media on Friday. "The Philippines has an opportunity to slam the door on animal abuse by holding the Ridons accountable for the horrific pain and misery that they have caused."
The case prompted Senator Manuel Villar to file Senate Bill No. 2882 or the proposed "Anti-Animal Crush Video Act of 2011," which seeks to prohibit the creation and distribution of said videos penalizing violators with imprisonment of three to seven years and a fine of P100,000 to P300,000.