Former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. – namesake of his father, the former president of the Philippines Ferdinand Edralin Marcos who ruled under martial law from 1972 until 1981, and then deposed in 1986 – has said that LGBTQIA issues are not polarizing when considered vis-a-vis the religiosity of Filipinos.
Guesting at The Deep Probe: The SMNI Presidential Interview, Marcos – who is vying to be the successor of Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte in the May 2022 elections – said that the Philippines is “much cooler” when dealing with LGBTQIA people, particularly when compared to other countries.
“I don’t think LGBTQ issues are polarizing in the Philippines, honestly. I think we are much more open-minded about it considering the fact that we are in fact (a) very Roman Catholic country. I don’t think it’s polarizing at all. I think Filipinos are, I don’t know how to put it, but we’re much cooler than most other places when it comes to these things,” Marcos said.
Marcos similarly quoted Pope Francis’ “Who am I to judge?” statement particularly when dealing with LGBTQIA unions.
“I think the Pope said is perfectly: ‘Who am I to judge?’,” Marcos said. “And that’s the attitude all of us have, and with that I think we will be able to go down the correct path.”
Marcos added that the LGBTQIA sector in the Philippines isn’t asking for special treatment anyway.
“‘Do not discriminate against us. Yun lang naman yun eh (That’s basically it). We don’t want a special program for ourselves. Just… patas lang, pare-pareho lang (we just want to be treated equally)’,” Marcos said, adding that all forms of discrimination “are something that we have to guard against. Because it’s corrosive… It just gets in the way. It doesn’t help anything.”
For Marcos, therefore, “I think… the approach to LGBTQIA issues (is to) just fight discrimination every step of the way. There’s a pool of talent in every sector of our society that we need to take advantage of, and so we cannot exclude anyone and say, ‘Hindi pwede yan, ayaw namin sa ganyan (That’s not allowed, we don’t want that).’”
All the presidential candidates have yet to comprehensively discuss their plans for the LGBTQIA community.
Nonetheless, current Vice President Leni Robredo – who also hopes to succeed Duterte as the Philippine president – earlier stated that she supports the “separate but equal” doctrine on LGBTQIA rights with her support for civil union and opposition to marriage equality.
Robredo’s position is similar to Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s, also running for the presidency, as he upheld religious dominance over LGBTQIA equality by saying yes to civil union while opposing marriage equality.
Both Sen. Manny Pacquiao and City of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno oppose marriage equality.