Sotto to submit CCTV footage of trans woman restroom incident
MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Monday night said he obtained a copy of the CCTV footage, witness affidavits, and police reports supposedly showing the real story behind the viral video involving transgender woman Gretchen Diez.
The video that circulated on social media showed Diez being accosted by a female cleaning crew member of Farmers Plaza in Cubao, Quezon City, for attempting to use a women’s restroom.
But Sotto said the viral video of the incident only showed “half of the story.”
“According to the original incident based on the report I read, there was a woman in the CR who was complaining because there was — I don’t remember the word used — there was a man,” Sotto, speaking in Filipino, said in a phone interview with INQUIRER.net.
This led the cleaning crew member, Chayra Ganal, to ask Diez to use the toilet supposedly for persons with disability (PWD), which Sotto said was only beside the restrooms for women and for men.
A few moments later, Diez started to become confrontational and started recording a video that circulated on social media.
“One woman came out at first. The janitress paid no attention to her. When a second one complained, the janitress reportedly talked to [Diez] and pointed her to the PWS toilet. She accompanied Diez there. Then, after a while, she came out very angry and already taking a video, ” Sotto said.
“That’s what’s in the report. The rest is what you see in the viral video already,” he added.
Sotto said he would submit the CCTV footage and the affidavits to the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality which will spearhead an inquiry on the case.
“I was just asked to relay the information,” he said. Toilet issue ‘petty, minuscule’ part of SOGIE bill Sotto said the issue on toilet use is only a “petty” and “minuscule” part of the SOGIE bill.
“This is such a petty part of the SOGIE bill. That is a very minuscule part of the anti-discrimination bill,” Sotto said. “It’s merely a small or minuscule part of the issues, controversial issues in the bill itself.”
Asked regarding the odds of the SOGIE bill passing in the Senate in the 18th Congress, Sotto said it will be “tough.”
“It’s very tough if they will not remove the provisions on the academic freedom, religious freedom, if they are going to remove all that, it will be hard to pass that,” he said.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros earlier pushed for the urgent passage of the SOGIE Equality bill, which criminalizes all forms of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression following the Diez case.
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