Members of the LGBT community welcomed presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte not only with rainbow greetings, but with an openness to start a dialogue. The Bahaghari LGBT Organization stated that it is willing to heed Duterte’s call for healing as the nation moves forward from one of the most divisive elections in history.
The LGBT community earlier found itself in a love-hate relationship with Duterte, who, when he was campaigning, used the term “bayot” to take a jibe against one of his opponents; though he also signed Davao City’s anti-discrimination ordinance that protects the rights of LGBT people in the city where he served as mayor.
“For six years the LGBT community and the Filipino people endured suffering under President Benigno Aquino III’s ‘Tuwid na Daan’. Duterte’s victory is a clear statement of the people’s rejection of the yellow regime,” said Bahaghari spokesperson and Outrage Magazine youth editor Aaron Bonette. “We thus join the new president in his call for healing, and we too enjoin him in our crusade to heal the ills that has persisted under the Aquino regime.”
Bahaghari LGBT Organization outlined challenges that continue to face the LGBT community – tagged as “KKKabog”. The three Ks stand for: Kabuhayan, Kalusugan, at Karapatan.
“Kabuhayan – we will hold him on his promise to end contractualization and push him to implement policies that would create jobs in rural and urban areas. Kalusugan – the government must address the HIV epidemic, and must provide adequate funds to public healthcare and other social services that the people need. Karapatan – we call for the immediate passage of an anti-discrimination and anti-hate crime laws, and we enjoin the new government in our efforts to promote the respect of rights and recognition of people of various sexual orientation, gender identities and expressions; we further push for the review of the case of Jennifer Laude and in this light the subsequent abrogation of VFA and EDCA,” Bonette said.
The organization said that it is willing to sit down with Duterte to help him understand more the LGBT community and the issues it faces, thus the invite: “President Duterte, chika po tayo.”