President Rodrigo R. Duterte said he would certify as urgent a measure meant to protect the rights of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) community against discrimination.
“Yes,” Duterte said in a media interview after the oath-taking rites of Malacañang Press Corps on Tuesday night, when asked if he would certify as urgent the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill.
“Whatever would make the mechanisms of… What — what would make them happy,” he added.
Paraphrasing the campaign slogan of former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, Duterte said: “Gusto ko kagaya kay Senator Enrile — gusto ko happy siya (I want, just like Senator Enrile, for everyone to be happy).”
Duterte also pointed out that even before Congress introduced the SOGIE bill, his hometown, Davao City, already had its own anti-discrimination ordinances during his term as vice mayor there.
“Sa Davao meron ako (In Davao, I have them),” Duterte said.
“Mayroon ako anti-discrimination. Bakla, iyang mga disabled. Nauna ako sa totoo lang (I already have anti-discrimination policies. Gay, disabled. I was the first to implement them to be honest),” he added.
The anti-discrimination ordinance, approved by the local council of Davao, declares as unlawful discrimination against workers based on sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnic origin, religious affiliation, beliefs, and health status.
Duterte said members of the LGBTQ community are also human and also Filipinos.
“Sabi ko (I said), ‘If you do not allow everybody na magtira diyan… Pilipino rin ito (to urinate there…They’re still Filipinos). Human — you might not like them but they are Filipinos,’” Duterte said.
On Aug. 19, Duterte met with Gretchen Diez, a transgender who figured in the news after being barred from entering a female restroom.
It was during their meeting in Malacañang when Duterte vowed to work with Congress to push for the passage of SOGIE bill.
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, Duterte’s former aide, said that it was also during the meeting when the possibility of creating a commission for LGBTQ, pending the enactment of a SOGIE law, was brought up. (PNA)