Netizens hit Angkas for 'incest' ad

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 9) – Some Twitter users on Friday flagged the recent advertisement of motorcycle taxi application Angkas, which they said promotes incest and sexual power play.

In a Facebook post on Thursday that has since been deleted, the Angkas ad showed an illustration of a girl in a yellow sweater crying for being stuck in a car. It has a promo code written “ANGKASDADDY” with a caption, “Stepdad, I’m stuck (in traffic).”

“This is a bad ad. You're a male-led and male-dominated company promoting incest and unhealthy sexual power dynamics in an ad,” Move As One Coalition Secretariat Reycel Bendaña said.

Incest is sexual relations between family members. It is a form of sexual abuse committed against a child by a relative within fourth degree of affinity and who exercises influence, authority or moral ascendancy over the victim.

The transport advocate said she has relayed her concern to Angkas chief executive officer George Royeca.

“Andaming pong case ng sexual abuse by step fathers in the PH, many of them unreported. This ad normalizes incest and makes it seem funny,” Bendaña's message to Royeca read.

She added that Angkas’ move harms safe spaces and sends a very dangerous message to men.

In a statement sent to the media on Friday, Royeca apologized for their recent ad that caused offense to people.

“It was not our intention, nor will we ever support or permit even the slightest disregard of women’s rights and human dignity,” he said. “We won't always get things done perfectly, but we in Angkas will always listen to our community.”

He added that Angkas will always aim to serve with honesty, humility, and respect.

Filipina sociologist Ash Presto also said it is disgusting for a male-dominated company to not only normalize but even promote incest behavior, citing that there is a silent pandemic of incest rape in the country.

“I feel sick to the core seeing how Angkas turned this into a marketing scheme,” she tweeted. “Which audience exactly was Angkas targeting in this ad? The fact that a company as big as Angkas can target audience that takes incest rape as an inside joke reflects how grave the problem is.”

According to the Cameleon Philippines, a non-profit organization that fights against sexual abuse, about 7,000,000 children are sexually abused every year in the Philippines.

It added that rape remains the most frequent type of sexual abuse in the country followed by incest and fondling.