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Na-'ghost' ka na ba? Lawmaker files bill declaring ghosting as 'emotional offense'

By NICK GARCIA Published Jul 26, 2022 3:34 pm

Have you ever had a match on Bumble or Tinder, and after weeks of communicating with each other one-to-sawa even past 5:00AM—never skimping on "good morning" and "nag-almusal ka na ba," as well as something stupid like "I love you"—your match abruptly makes themselves scarce without an explanation, without an acceptable reason?

Well, tough luck, you've just been a victim of "ghosting."

But justice might just be done in future ghosting scenarios, in case you fall victim to it again (and again), as a lawmaker on July 26 filed a bill seeking to declare "ghosting" as an "emotional offense."

As defined by Merriam Webster, ghosting is the "act or practice of abruptly cutting off all contact with someone (such as a former romantic partner) usually without explanation by no longer accepting or responding to phone calls, instant messages, etc."

But Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves via his House Bill No. 611, defines it as “a form of emotional abuse (that) happens once a person is engaged in a dating relation with the opposite sex which affects the mental state of the victim.”

In any case, Teves seeks to punish parties committing such an act, noting it's a “form of spite that develops feelings of rejection and neglect.”

"Ghosting has adverse effects on the mental state of the one being ghosted," he said in the explanatory note, "and his or her emotional state is still adversely affected as he or she will be constantly thinking of the welfare or the unexplained reasons of the one who ghosted.”

He also argued that the “the ambiguity with ghosting is that there is no real closure between parties concerned," hence grounds for "emotional cruelty" that results in the "ghosted" suffering trauma.

The lawmaker, however, did not specify whether there would be penalties or a prison sentence meted out as punishment to ghosters.

Teves made the headlines last July 5 when he filed a bill seeking to change the name of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Ferdinand E. Marcos International Airport, as part of a string of attempts to erase the assassinated opposition senator's name from the gateway.