Bill seeks ‘ghosting’ declared as emotional offense but lacks punitive measures

·2 min read
Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. filed a bill that aims to declare
Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. filed a bill that aims to declare "ghosting" as an emotional offense. This, after filing a bill that seeks to rename Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) with the late dictator's and the current president’s namesake Ferdinand Marcos Sr. (Photo: Congressman Arnie A.Teves/Facebook)

The distinguished Congressman from Negros Oriental is at it again – after filing a bill renaming Ninoy Aquino International Airport and replace it with the name of the late dictator and the current president’s namesake Ferdinand Marcos Sr., Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. now wants to declare “ghosting” an “emotional offense”.

Amid the rising prices of fuel and basic goods, and preparations for physical reopening of classes and transportation crisis, it seems this is where Teves’ priorities are.

Under House Bill (HB) No. 611, ghosting – or an act of suddenly cutting contact with a person one is romantically linked with without an explanation – ”can be mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting to the ‘ghosted person’,” thus can be “likened to a form of emotional cruelty.”

The proposed measure defined the act as something along the lines of an emotional abuse when a person is engaged in exclusive dating relationship with an opposite sex and then suddenly cuts them loose, affecting the ghosted person’s mental state. (If limited to only heterosexual couple, this means that the bill, if made into law, will not apply to same sex relationships).

“The ambiguity with ghosting is that there is no real closure between parties concerned, and as such, it can be likened to a form of emotional cruelty and should be punished as an emotional offense because of the trauma it causes to the ‘ghosted,’” read the bill’s explanatory note.

Teves added that ghosting can be detrimental to the mental stability of the one ghosted, and there could be negative effects as they try to think of why they were ghosted in the first place.

But despite the bill declaring ghosting as an emotional offense, Teves did not provide in the bill any penalty for such an act, ultimately defeating its purpose and making the bill useless.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.

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