Music

Local Indie Bands Sud, Jensen and the Flips Face Sexual Misconduct Accusations

Probably the worst part is that nobody's as surprised as they should be.
IMAGE SUD and Jensen and the Flips' Facebook pages
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Is this the series of tweets that could be the beginning of our own Weinsteingate?

At 7:24 p.m., Twitter user Adrienne Onday, who goes by the handle @_tapsilog, posted a long series of tweets about the sexual misconduct and misogyny that seems to be ingrained in the scene. The thread included screenshots of conversations with alleged victims involved in numerous incidents:

 

 

 

We reached out to Onday, a Sociology undergrad at the University of the Philippines, and she tells us that the thread "is partly inspired from the latest exposés on Twitter and partly a pent-up guilt and anger on my part...I was in the scene and I personally experienced and saw and heard so many of these gross comments, actions, and behaviors from people I considered friends. As a student of sociology and a human rights advocate, it drove me crazy that I considered these people friends and was so scared to lose them that I didn’t speak up immediately."

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She continues: "I drew the line last night because I simply couldn’t take it anymore. I can’t call myself a feminist and HR advocate if I didn’t do what I knew I should have done before—especially since I myself knew the disgusting things members of bands did. I didn’t realize they have done worse, and it’s only due to other users that I learned of their worse actions." 


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Musicians named in the thread include Carlo Maraingan (third from left), Jensen Gomez (center), and Samuel Valenia (rightmost)

In the thread, Onday names members of the band Jensen and the Flips, including frontman Jensen Gomez, percussionist Carlo Maraingan, and guitarist Sam Valenia. Later, the thread also includes mention of incidents involving Sud Ballecer and Jimbo Cuenco of the band Sud, and references an earlier controversy revolving around a cover they did for PULP magazine. 

In case you haven't seen it, here are all of Onday's tweets:

Here is where the tweets begin to spill the details:


Here, the thread talks about members of the band Sud, and about their controversial PULP cover:

And then about Jensen Gomez of the band Jensen and the Flips:

And again about Sud:

The original tweet has since garnered almost 4,800 Likes and has been retweeted over 2,440 times as of this writing. The backlash against some of the accused band members came swiftly: 

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Red Ninja Productions, which has partnered up with The Rest is Noise for the year-end gigs, also released this statement:

"As a production run mostly by women, we have been striving to show our community that we are strong and independent: that we can make a difference not because of gender, but because we are all equal.

We believe that each person should be treated with respect, and has the right to voice out their thoughts and feelings. We commend those who are brave enough to come forward and raise these issues. We have your back and will try to continually create a community with a safe environment.

We are currently trying to gather more information and speak to the parties involved, but sexual assault and harassment is something that is definitely not ever going to be tolerated in Red Ninja. 

At the end of the day, while these issues aren't unique to the independent music scene, we hope that this can eventually serve as a catalyst for everyone in it to learn, be better, more aware and more accountable."

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In the wake of the accusations, Jensen and the Flips issued an official statement on their Facebook page:

The band Sud also recently posted this statement on their page:

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After Harvey Weinstein opened the floodgates, there's been a tsunami of allegations against celebrities—so this new development has people paying attention for what it might mean to the entire industry. Already, there are a number of musicians and bands named in the thread, with commenters and screenshots about incidents involving them. The worst thing, perhaps, is that no one seems particularly surprised at the allegations. 

But while there is little surprise, many are also glad that this may pave the way for justice. "I'm glad women are speaking out—it's not easy to have done what [Adrienne Onday] did, and what these other women did. These are serious allegations, and the accused should be held accountable," says musician Vin Dancel, who is both a veteran of the local indie music scene and a lawyer. 

He also advises caution. "The difference between the Weinstein allegations and this one is that the accusers have made official statements, and I hope that happens in this case, too. There are organizations out there that can help with counseling or legal advice. What we don't want to happen is that this turns into a witch hunt where people are only accused and tried on social media," he says. "I'm sure these people exist, and that they're being outed. I hope this kind of guys are held accountable."

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November 23, 2017, 2:50p.m. This article has been updated to reflect the bands' statements.

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Kristine Fonacier
Former editor-in-chief of Esquire Philippines
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