Panelo: Duterte supports SOGIE bill
MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte is supporting the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill, Malacañang said Thursday.
Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo made the statement days following the discrimination of a transgender woman that stirred talks on the passage of the measure aimed at protecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community from discrimination.
“I remember the President expressed support for the LGBT one time di ba? So I think he will support that kind (of measure) kasi ang gusto niya fair treatment to all e,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
The Palace official also called on the public to respect members of the LGBT.
But Panelo couldn’t say if Duterte will certify the SOGIE bill as urgent to ensure its swift passage.
“I will ask him when we talk again,” he said.
Transgender woman Gretchen Diez was arrested Tuesday afternoon for unjust vexation after she documented how she was denied entry by a janitress to a women’s toilet in a mall in Cubao, Quezon City.
Diez, however, was released the same day after the janitress apologized and backed out from pursuing the unjust vexation case.
Panelo, who is also Duterte’s chief legal counsel, said the incident was a clear violation of Quezon City’s Gender Fair Ordinance.
“There is an ordinance to respect them kaya violation ‘yung ginawa sa transgender,” he said.
Senator Risa Hontiveros had refiled the SOGIE Bill at the 18th Congress. The House of Representatives approved the bill in 2017, but the Senate version experienced delays during the period of interpellation.
In 2017, Duterte also expressed support for same-sex marriage or marriage equality.
In a campaign rally in April, the President said members of the LGBT community have nothing to be ashamed of as they too are created by God.
“Bakit ka mahiyang bakla, gawa ka man ng Diyos,” Duterte said in a speech at the PDP-Laban campaign rally in Malabon City.
“God created all of us. Male, female, tomboy, pati bakla,” he added.
But in a meeting with the Filipino community in Japan late May, Duterte implied that being gay is a disease that needs to be cured. /muf
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