On January 9, a member of the LGBTQIA community was allegedly raped by an armed suspect in Northern Mindanao; and the way a local media covered this ired netizens.
Citing a police report on the incident, iFM CDO reported that a gay person – who had a fight with their partner – was forced to walk on their way home to Casinglot, Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental. But they were accosted by an armed person at Zone 4, Bugo, Cagayan de Oro; and they were eventually raped.
The reporting ended up making light of the experience by stating that the suspect ordered the victim to “kaonon ang iyang (eat his) private part”, and – not contented with this – the same suspect also “gilubi (literally/colloquially: sexually penetrated in the ass)”.
One commenter, Kirk Virtudazo Popiolek, for instance stressed that rape is “a serious matter and we should always remember that RAPE IS RAPE and RAPE HAS NO GENDER… This is not a joke and we have to take this seriously. I pray that this won’t happen to your family or friends that are members of the LGBT community.” But to iFM CDO, “please… be sensitive next time. Choose the right words and know how to compose news properly. This is such a shame.”
Another, Carla Marie Madrigal, stated that “please… ayaw himoang CIRCUS ang RAPE (don’t turn rape into a circus)! Rape is rape.”
According to Stephen Christian Quilacio, executive director of the Center for HIV and AIDS Responses (CARE) and concurrent Mindanao correspondent of Outrage Magazine, what can be seen here “is reflective of the experiences of abused LGBTQIA people – e.g. we may be at higher risk for crimes because of our SOGIESC, but even when we report these crimes, various stakeholders may not take us and what happened to us seriously. The latter could discourage victims from reporting for fear of double victimization – i.e. nagahasa ka na, ginagawa ka pang katatawanan (you were already raped, and yet made a subject of ridicule). This really has to stop.”
Meanwhile, according to Maria Eda Catabas, executive director of Cebu United Rainbow LGBT Sector Inc. (CURLS), this is an issue that should be considered seriously. “I am disgusted by how people react to this issue. The person’s rape experience is horrible and yet people are not taking this seriously, this is an attack to dignity,” she said, adding that “we need policies that can change a culture of wrongdoings; policies that ensure our right to protection is also being prioritized by the government.”
The case is still being investigated.
The report is still online, unamended as of the time of this reporting.