Local indie bands kicked out of music events amid sexual misconduct allegations

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 22) — With tales of sexual harassment against Hollywood artists snowballing, it was only a matter of time before the local scene followed.

Online music magazine Vandals On The Wall on Wednesday removed Manila-based indie band Jensen and The Flips from the lineup of its annual event "The Rest Is Noise Year-End." The move came following sexual misconduct allegations against one of its members.

 

"We are reaffirming our position: We do not and will not condone, tolerate, or enable any vile or reprehensible behavior that exploits and abuses women," said Vandals On The Wall in a statement.

On Tuesday, Jensen and The Flips was put in the spotlight after a netizen started a Twitter thread alleging some of the band's members were involved in acts of sexual misconduct.

 

In one of the tweets, the netizen posted a screenshot of a conversation, saying Samuel Valenia, the band's guitarist and backup vocalist, forced himself on her.

Valenia confirmed the allegation on Wednesday, and apologized to all those he offended and disappointed.

 

The same Twitter thread also alleged that band frontman Sud Ballecer of the indie rock and jazz band Sud had been "touchy" with a girl during a gig, and tried to kiss someone in a separate occasion.

This prompted the organizers of the University of the Philippines (UP) Fair in February 2018 to withdraw its invitation to Sud to perform. This was announced by Vince Liban, the head of the LGBTQ advocacy group UP Babaylan.

 

"As an org who values and advocates for women and their rights, we cannot tolerate these kinds of behavior," Liban said. The UP Babaylan is a student organization that advocates for the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, and queers.

In an official statement released later in the evening, Babaylan also asked other UP Fair organizers "to neither tolerate nor welcome perpetuators of violence" at the centerstage of the University.

"Let us create safer spaces for women to speak up and be empowered against the injustices of society," the statement said.

Sud on Thursday had apologized for the alleged sexual misconduct thrown against some of its members.

"We are sorry. It was never our intention for our actions to come across the way they did. We recognize that we have no say whether they were violated by our actions and we put them in a position they were not comfortable in, and for that we will accept the repercussions of what we did," it said in a statement.

Sud added it had privately resolved an unspecified matter involving band bassist Raisa Racelis.

"To everyone reading this, we appreciate you and all things you stand for. Things that we all should stand for. And thank you for starting a revolution of awareness and change," the band said.

"The Rest Is Noise Year-End," now on its third year, celebrates local music talent, and will be held on November 25 at the Century City Mall Event Space in Makati City.

It will feature both emerging and well-established music acts of different genres, including Ourselves the Elves, Oh, Flamingo!, Joey Ayala at ang Bagong Lumad, Orange and Lemons, and Ang Bandang Shirley.