CHR to document ‘hate crimes’ vs LGBTsBy Philip C. Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—To help stop abuses against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders (LGBTs), the Commission on Human Rights on Tuesday said it will systematically document “hate crimes” against LGBTs, just like the human rights violations during Martial Law in the 1970s.
CHR chair Loretta Ann Rosales said documenting hate crimes against LGBTs was very important so that these could be used as evidence in court.
“That is important. We have to systematize. We have to make these [cases] official. We have to document the violations,” Rosales said in a forum.
“Just like the Martial Law project, we are digitizing this so that it becomes official. It becomes evidence. It is very, very important that these cases become evidence. These are data,” she added.
Rosales said the hate crimes that the CHR would document include police raids of private gay establishments that become opportunities for the police to mulct their patrons, discrimination in schools and workplaces, and the killing of gays.
“When the LGBT come together and they have fun, these areas are raided by the police unnecessarily. What’s wrong with having fun? They have to be respected but they are being raided,” Rosales said.
“Even in Catholic schools, there is discrimination. It’s like it is a mortal sin if you are a homosexual or lesbian. This is is a complex issue because it is cultural … so there has to be a way of standardizing these cases,” she added.
Rosales noted that it would be difficult to say that a homosexual was killed because of his sexual orientation and not because of other motives.
“There are killings that take place but that thing is, how to you define whether or not this is really brought about by discrimination? To be able to do that, you have [to systematize] the cases. It has to be evidence-based,” she said.
“It then becomes a case that you can take to court. You criminalize it,” she added.
Rosales said this approach had been successful in cases of torture in the country. She said torture cases were documented and this, in turn, helped in the passage of the anti-torture law.
“Now, the police about manhandling their prisoners because we have an anti-torture law,” she said.
Rosales said that the CHR would finish training its human rights investigators about LGBT issues by the end of the year.
“We have to develop our human rights investigators. They need to have an orientation on LGBT thinking and consciousness,” she said.
“So, right now, we are training our own people within CHR so that they would have the sensitivity and not become ignorant,” Rosales added.