A 59-year-old MSM (men having sex with other men) and who may be a member of the LGBTQIA community was stabbed to death in Barangay Nabitasan, La Paz, Iloilo, with the suspect claiming that what happened was transactional sex gone wrong.
Johnny Tan, a resident of Barangay Yulo, City Proper, though he temporarily resided at Zone 5, Barangay Nabitasan, La Paz, Iloilo – was killed after he was stabbed in the heart, though he also had a stab wound on the neck. There were two suspects immediately apprehended by La Paz PNP, John Paul Dubria, 20, and Tammy Banisyo, 18, residents of Valderrama, Antique.
In the initial investigation of La Paz PNP, Dubria alleged that Tan hired three of them for a “one night stand”, promising to pay each with P1,500. The victim, however, allegedly reneged on the agreement.
Speaking to Outrage Magazine regarding the incident, Rev. Jerlo Jaropillo from the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) in Iloilo City said that this, definitely, qualifies as a hate crime because “this unnecessary killing highlights how the life of members of the LGBTQIA community is considered worthless, and can just be taken as if people are just slaughtering livestock.”
This incident also often raises the issue of victim-blaming, which surfaces when members of the LGBTQIA community are engaged in transactional sex. here, disagreements with LGBTQIA people become excuses to eradicate them. Only recently, a transgender woman, Cindy Jones, was found naked and lifeless with multiple stab wounds in a beauty salon in Guiguinto, Bulacan, with the suspect raising the “trans panic defense”.
In a statement, Iloilo Pride Team stated that “being gay, the victim has been blamed by the public, humiliated his image and even thought to deserve the tragic death.” This stresses the need to end gender-based violence that they said increased during lockdowns as “people are losing jobs and are forced to stay indoors.”
“The continuing lockdowns and ineptitude of the government in responding to the pandemic has created conditions that make no amount less enough to take someone’s life. We in Iloilo Pride Team call on our national and local leaders to address not only the primary impacts of the pandemic. Rather, come up with holistic strategic plans – plans aimed not only in managing the COVID-19 situation but also in safeguarding human rights and looking after the welfare of every Filipino,” the Iloilo-based organization stated.
*This article was amended on August 14, 2021 (5:45PM) to accommodate the statement of Iloilo Pride Team.