Solons want House probe on discrimination, harassment of trans woman
MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers are calling for an investigation into the “discrimination and harassment” of a transgender woman after she was barred from entering a women’s toilet in a mall in Quezon City.
Bataan 1st District Rep. Geraldine Roman, Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas, Bayan Muna Reps. Carlos Zarate, Eufemia Cullamat and Ferdinand Gaite, ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro, and Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago filed House Resolution No. 232 Wednesday, a day after Gretchen Custodio Diez was arrested for unjust vexation after she documented how a janitress denied her entry from a women’s comfort room.
She was released the same day after the janitress apologized and backed out from filing the case.
“Ito po ay malinaw na discrimination or harassment sa isang transgender woman. Ito po ay kinukundena namin,” Brosas said in a press conference with Roman.
Roman, the first transgender woman to be elected in Congress, lambasted the arrest and harassment of Diez, whom she visited at the police station on Tuesday.
“Is it so difficult for us to be kind and considerate?… Si Gretchen went there for a basic human need to relieve herself and she was denied this, at bukod pa don hinimuliate pa, pinosasan, ipinarada, sinabihan pa na nawala raw ‘yung susi (ng posas). For a long period of time she was being paraded as if she was a criminal,” Roman said.
The congresswoman nonetheless vowed to be more determined in lobbying for the passage of the SOGIE equality bill.
“Alam ko po na maraming problema ang ating bansa at hindi ko naman po sinasabi na ang mga LGBT lang po ang mayroong suliranin sa ating bansa. But we are multifaceted here in Congress…” Roman further said.
Several bills prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression (SOGIE) have been filed in the House, including Roman’s House Bill No. 136, and the Makabayan bloc’s HB No. 258. /je
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.