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Ms. U Bowling Pageant & Bowlibining Pilipinas scheduled on Dec. 7

TLF SHARE scheduled a bowling pageant on December 7, from 4:00 PM at the Coronado Lanes, 4/F Starmall, EDSA (beside MRT Station), Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City. While winning – and getting that crown – may be everyone’s goal, Dennis Corteza says that “that’s but part of it. Winning is not everything. It’s having fun while not winning,” he laughs. “So come join us.”

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Ms-U1

To prove that “there’s more fun out there,” TLF SHARE has scheduled the 2014 Ms. U Bowling Pageant and Bowlibining Pilipinas – a mash-up of a bowling tournament and a beauty contest, making it a not-so-ordinary sports tournament.

Dubbed as the “bowling pageant”, Ms. U and Bowlibining Pilipinas will be held at the Coronado Lanes, 4/F Starmall, EDSA (beside MRT Station), Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City on Dec. 7, Sunday, from 4:00 PM.

Ms-U2LOOKING BACK

Ms. U started in 2000, initially as part of The Library Foundation’s sports event and celebration of Pride month (June), then eyeing to build camaraderie for TLF SHARE’s participants and their friends.

In the tournament, teams of four bowlers competed wearing their own uniforms or costumes. Additional points went to teams with costumes. Elimination round consisted of three games, and then the top five teams competed in the final round. In the final round, the scores reverted back to zero, similar to the scoring system in beauty pageants.

Because of the success of the first tournament, when 16 teams joined, Bowlibining Pilipinas was born in the same year (December 2000). This was different from Ms. U since Bowlibining Pilipinas was an individual competition. The top five winners were given titles –Bowlibining Pilipinas Universe, World, International, Tourism, and the first runner-up.

The twice-a-year tournaments lasted from 2000 to 2007.

Even if the tournament disappeared for seven years, there have been spin off tournaments, such as Volleybining Pilipinas (volleyball) in Puerto Galera, and Billiardbining Pilipinas (billiards). The organizing group of the tournament also hosted The Straits Games Manila 2013.

This year, TLF SHARE is bringing back the tournaments.

“This time TLF SHARE would like to revive the sleeping giant – parang Godzilla lang (just like Godzilla),” beamed Dennis Corteza, who is helping organize this year’s tournament. “Para siyang reunion a.k.a throwback. We’re trying to tap again the past TLF SHARE participants, bowlers, and their friends (new and old). And we hope to get new breed of participants, especially the younger ones. There’s more fun out there. Go out and bowl. Let’s show the whole world that we are really more fun. Plus hindi pa tayo extinct (we’re not yet extinct). And labanan ang rayuma (fight rheumatism) – stretch-stretch ‘pag may time.”

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FUN GATHERING

The bowling pageant is open to all TLF SHARE participants and non-participants (girl, boy, bakla, tomboy, transgender, et cetera). The Ms. U is for the team competition (three players) and Bowlibining Pilipinas is for the individual competition.

Ms-U3The gathering, said Corteza, spells fun.

In the introduction of the teams/candidates, the approach is similar to beaucon (beauty pageants), complete with the parade of the candidates (or representatives) and the narrating of mottos. And so expect versions of the witty one-liners, like: “I believe in the saying: ‘Break the glass in case of emergency.’; ‘Keep of the grass.’; and ‘Aanhin pa ang damo kung kinain ko na ang kabayo.’ – some of those that were used in the past.

There is a registration fee of P100 per player (for three games), exclusive of shoe rental (P35). Limited slots (14 teams/42 bowlers) are available for the discounted fee.

Individual players can form a team before the games. TLF SHARE committee may assist individual players form their teams (kindly inform TLF SHARE before the competition). Individual players without a team can vie for the Bowlibining Pilipinas titles.

A default score of 75 pinfalls will be given to each absent player in a game. Once the first player of the opposing team rolls the first ball of the third frame, the team that has not completed its three-player line-up will receive the 75-pinfall default score for every missing player.

Also for fun, love notes will be read during the tournament. Individuals can pay a certain amount –P5 for confidential messages to one’s crush, with the note delivered in private to the person; and P20 for public announcement. While this has served as fundraising activity, it also helped others find love in the past. “Meron naging mag-lovers because of the love notes (There were men who became lovers because of the love notes),” Corteza smiled.

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THE OTHER (WO)MAN

Substitutes are allowed, just inform the sports committee before the second game. A fee of P100 per substitute will be charged. Substitutes will only be allowed to play if and when one of the players of the team cannot play due to the following: injury, illness, pregnancy, going to join other beaucons, and other valid reason/s deemed acceptable by the TLF SHARE committee. It is understood that once a substitute is called, he/she replaces the regular player for the duration of the bowling pageant.

No substitutions are allowed during the game. A player who cannot continue playing the game due to extreme circumstances (i.e. pregnancy) will retain his/her score from the time of his/her pull-out or will be given a default score of 75 pinfalls whichever is higher. Teams should report player pull-outs to TLF SHARE committee for evaluation

As per Corteza, “kahit fun siya, sa scoring very strict (even if it’s fun, the scoring is very strict). We adapt the international scoring system. May additional pins lang for the special awards.”

CROWING GLORY

All players for the Ms. U are automatically qualified for the Bowlibining Pilipinas titles. Subs are not qualified for Bowlibining Pilipinas titles.

The top five scoring teams; and the top five individual players will be awarded.

Ms. U 2014 awards:

  1. Ms. U 2014 (Bongga, congrats!)
  2. 1st Runner-up (The role is very important – Chos!)
  3. 2nd Runner-up (Uy umaasa?)
  4. 3rd Runner-up (More power po)
  5. 4th Runner-up (Walang himala ‘day)

Bowlibining Pilipinas awards:

  1. BowlibiningPilipinas Universe (highest score of 3 games)
  2. BowlibiningPilipinas International (2nd place)
  3. BowlibiningPilipinas World (3rd place)
  4. BowlibiningPilipinas Supranational (4th place)
  5. BowlibiningPilipinas Tourism (5th place)
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Additional scores/special award in the Ms. U is not counted for the total of the Bowlibining Pilipinas scores.

“In case of a tie, we will have a question and answer portion,” Corteza said.

There will also be special awards for the Ms. U team:

  1. Best in costume. +10 pins/team. Team effort.
  2. Ms. Talent. +10 pins/team. One representative per team.
  3. Ms. Photogenic +10 pins/team. One or more representative/s
  4. Ms. Friendship +10 pins/team. Team effort.

In the past, for Ms. Talent, a representative from the teams were asked to bowl while also doing a surprise task. Some of these tasks included: bowling while blindfolded, bowling while wearing a big wig covering the face, and bowling while wearing an 11-kilo ballgown. “Bowl for your life drama,” Corteza shared. “The winner got 10 additional pins for his/her team.”

Also in the past, other special awards included Ms. Panama Canal (most canal shots a.k.a. O pins); Ms. Strike a Pose (most strikes); and Ms. Surigao (he/she who shouts the loudest).

Prizes include trophies, crowns, scepters, sash, dolls, and most of all, the prestige that goes with the title.

While winning – and getting that crown – may be everyone’s goal, Corteza said that “that’s but part of it. Winning is not everything. It’s having fun while not winning,” he laughed. “So come join us.”

To join Ms. U and Bowlibining Pilipinas, register at http://goo.gl/forms/NcmSNPBH3U.

NEWSMAKERS

Robredo stresses SOGIE Equality Bill backing amid hesitant support from pols, says VP spox

Vice President Leni Robredo reiterated that the real issue is really about understanding and respecting the rights of all members of society regardless of their SOGIE.

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Screencap from the Twitter account of VP Leni Robredo

Though the resistance against the proposed Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill in the Senate did not come as a surprise to Vice President Leni Robredo, she reiterated that the real issue is really about understanding and respecting the rights of all members of society regardless of their SOGIE.

The position of Robredo was stressed by the Vice President’s spokesman, Atty. Barry Gutierrez, in a radio program last August 24, where he also noted that the bill, which aims to protect members of the LGBTQIA community, had been trying to hurdle Congress for almost two decades now.

Bago pa lang pumasok sa Kongreso si VP Leni — sabay kami — almost 16 years na iyong batas na iyon na nakabinbin sa Kongreso. Kaya halos dalawang dekada na itong pinaguusapan,” said Guttierez said. “Hindi naman nakakagulat, actually, na nag-protest ng ganiyang posisyon si (Senate President Vincente Sotto). Sa kasaysayan nitong batas na ito, madami talaga sa miyembro ng Senado at Kongreso ang nagpapahayag ng kanilang—hindi naman pagtutol, pero mayroon silang mas ikinababahala dito sa bill na ito.”

Sotto earlier said that the Senate could pass an anti-discrimination bill, but not one that was focused on members of the LGBTQIA community. “Anti-discrimination on persons pwede. Pero focused on gays, which the SOGIE bill is, and religious and academic freedom impeded plus smuggling of same sex marriage? No chance!” he said.

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He later clarified that he meant to say that the bill would have “no chance of passing in the Senate IF it transgresses on academic freedom, religious freedom, and women’s rights.”

But for Robredo, a human rights lawyer and a supporter of the LGBTQIA community, the issue was about understanding and respecting the rights of all members of society regardless of their SOGIE.

Dati pa naman, ang aming pananaw dito ay kaunting paliwanag lang. Kailangan lang maintindihan talaga na ito ay isang batas naman na hindi naglalayong basagin ang karapatan ng nino man. Bagkus, ito ay isang panukala nga na nagsisikap lamang na bigyan ng proteksyon itong ating mga kababayang LGBT kung sila ay magiging biktima ng diskriminasyon,” Guttierez said.

Debates for the SOGIE Equality Bill were ignited when Gretchen Diez, a transgender woman, was not allowed to use the female toilet of Farmers Plaza in Araneta in Cubao, Quezon City. But Diez, who has been in the limelight following her experience and not because of her involvement in LGBTQIA advocacy, eventually fashioned herself as the sole representative of the local LGBTQIA community/as the “face of the LGBT movement”.

Simple lang naman ang ating pananaw dito at ito din iyong layon ultimately ng SOGIE (Equality) Bill, baka kailangan nating matuto siguro ng respeto siguro sa isa’t isa,” Gutierrez ended.

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Sotto says SOGIE Equality Bill has ‘no chance’ of passing Senate

In a message, Sen. Sotto stated: “Anti-discrimination on persons, pwede, pero [it’s possible, but] focused on gays, which the SOGIE bill is, and religious and academic freedom impeded plus smuggling of same sex marriage? No chance!”

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Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III declared that the bill that seeks to ban discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression (SOGIE) has “no chance” of passing in the Senate – at least under his leadership.

In a message, Sotto stated: “Anti-discrimination on persons, pwede, pero [it’s possible, but] focused on gays, which the SOGIE bill is, and religious and academic freedom impeded plus smuggling of same sex marriage? No chance!”

Sotto has repeatedly shown his opposition of the anti-discrimination bill, known in its current iteration as the SOGIE Equality Bill. For instance, during the 17th Congress, he was among the senators who – in essence – blocked the passage of the measure because of his insistence to want to interpellate the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Risa Hontiveros. The same interpellation didn’t happen until Congress adjourned, thereby killing the measure.

Surprisingly, in 2018, he actually stated that the ADB’s passage is “possible”. But his response even then was tempered by his position to continue allowing education/religious institutions to discriminate, and was similarly still stuck in toilet use (i.e. disallowing people to use restrooms according to their gender identity).

More recently, still confused about the meaning of LGBTQIA – coming after years of hosting Eat Bulaga, which has a trans pageant Super SiReyna, segment Suffer SiReyna, and co-hosts who are part of the LGBTQIA community, including Liza Seguerra and Allan K – Sotto suggested removing the acronym and instead just refer to members of the community as “homo sapiens”.

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The onus is not on Sotto alone, however, but those who placed him in his position of power to maneuver what will be discussed in the Senate’s session hall. Last June 4, 13 senators signed a resolution backing Sotto’s so-called leadership in the then incoming 18th Congress. These included: Sens. Juan Miguel Zubiri, Panfilo Lacson, Manny Pacquiao, Ralph Recto, Nancy Binay, Loren Legarda, Grace Poe, Sonny Angara, Francis Escudero, Sherwin Gatchalian, Gregorio Honasan, Aquilino Pimentel III, and Joel Villanueva.

Escudero, Honasan and Legarda ended their terms on June 30.

In contrast to the Senate under the so-called Sotto leadership, the Lower House/House of Representatives passed the bill in 2017.

The first anti-discrimination bill was filed 19 years ago. It was first filed in the 11th Congress by Akbayan Party-List Representative Etta Rosales. That version of the bill was approved on third and final reading in the 12th Congress, but failed to gain traction in the Senate. In 2006, during the 13th Congress, the ADB reached second reading.

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Daughter of former dictator wants to expand list of punishable acts of LGBTQIA discrimination

Among the other punishable offenses against LGBTQIA people that Sen. Imee Marcos added are: refusal to admit a child in school due to a parent’s or guardian’s sexual orientation, preventing a child from exhibiting gender identity, denial of access to public services, and exposing an LGBTQIA member’s sexual orientation without prior consent.

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Photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Imee Marcos

Neophyte senator Imee R. Marcos wants to expand the list of punishable acts of discrimination committed against members of the LGBTQIA community as stipulated in Senate Bill 412, which also prescribes measures to preempt such acts.

Marcos has said that the incident of Gretchen Diez, a transgender woman handcuffed by the police after attempting to use a women’s toilet in Quezon City, was “a blatant act of discrimination that defies Quezon City’s Gender-Fair Ordinance and makes me livid.”

So Marcos wants for the “harassment of LGBTQIA members by law enforcers to be a punishable offense in the Senate bill”, just as she wants to prescribe gender-neutral toilets, similar to those specially assigned for persons with disabilities, to protect transgender women in particular from public humiliation.

Diez recently made the news because of her ordeal while trying to access the female toilet in Farmers Plaza, a mall in Cubao, Quezon City. But Diez, who has been in the limelight following her experience and not because of her involvement in LGBTQIA advocacy, now fashions herself as the sole representative of the local LGBTQIA community/as the “face of the LGBT movement”.

The veracity of Diez’s narrative is now also put in question.

Among the other punishable offenses against LGBTQIA people that Marcos added to those in previous bills are the refusal to admit a child in school due to a parent’s or guardian’s sexual orientation, preventing a child from exhibiting gender identity, denial of access to public services including military service, and exposing an LGBTQIA member’s sexual orientation without prior consent.

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Among the other punishable offenses against LGBTQIA people that Marcos added to those in previous bills are the refusal to admit a child in school due to a parent’s or guardian’s sexual orientation, preventing a child from exhibiting gender identity, denial of access to public services including military service, and exposing an LGBTQIA member’s sexual orientation without prior consent.

If found guilty, offenders must pay a fine of not less than Php100,000 or face one to six years in jail.

“We must establish the equal footing of LGBT members as Filipino citizens and as human beings,” Marcos said. “LGBT members deserve the fullest measure of participation in society.”

As FYI, Marcos is the daughter of the late dictator Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos. Ousted in 1986, the Marcos family is said to have stolen from $5 billion to $10 billion from the coffers of the country, based on documents provided by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG). Also, under the Marcos presidency, Task Force Detainees of the Philippines has recorded: 2,668 incidents of arrests, 398 disappearances, 1,338 salvagings, 128 frustrated salvagings and 1,499 killed or wounded in massacres. Meanwhile, Amnesty International reported: 70,000 imprisoned, 34,000 tortured and 3,240 documented as killed.

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‘Patuloy na itaguyod ang SOGIE Equality Bill’ – LGBTQIA activists

Though there are still politicians who refuse to see the merits to pass #SOGIEEqualityNow, #LGBT Filipinos are taking this as a challenge to keep pushing for a national policy that will protect the rights of all no matter their SOGIESC.

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As far as the equal protection of LGBTQIA Filipinos are concerned, “may mga gaps talaga (there are really gaps in the laws of the land),” said Anastacio Marasigan, executive director of TLF SHARE Collective Inc. “Kailangan ng SOGIE lens sa mga batas natin; yun ang nawawala sa current laws natin (Our laws need to use SOGIE lens/awareness; this is what’s not present in our current laws).”

Marasigan stressed that this SOGIE focus that is needed may best come in the form of the SOGIE Equality Bill, the current iteration of the anti-discrimination bill that has been pending in Congress for 19 years now.

Marasigan’s call was also made following the continuing confusion – and retaliation, for that matter – with passing the SOGIE Equality Bill.

At the Senate hearing on the SOGIE Equality Bill on August 20, Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said that “you can’t just consider one portion of the society.”

Dela Rosa’s biggest concern, for instance, revolves around providing trans people access to toilets befitting their gender identity (not their assigned sex at birth).

“What if isang lalaking manyak magsuot ng pambabae at papasok sa CR ng babae (What if a heterosexual male who is a sex predator/maniac dresses up as a woman and enters the female toilet)?” Dela Rosa asked.

Dela Rosa’s comments were also triggered by the incident involving Gretchen Diez, who recently made the news because of her ordeal while trying to access the female toilet in Farmers Plaza, a mall in Cubao, Quezon City.

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Incidentally, Diez, who has been in the limelight following her experience and not because of her involvement in LGBTQIA advocacy, now fashions herself as the sole representative of the local LGBTQIA community, claiming to be the “face of the LGBT movement.”

The new senator stressed that “this is not an attack on your group (the LGBTQIA community).” But that this is a concern of “totoong babae (real women)” (sic), he added, referring to those who were assigned female at birth.

For TLF SHARE Collective’s Marasigan, “we are not expecting that the SOGIE Equality Bill will be passed smoothly,” he said. “There will be questions, there will be challenges; those will be part of the process.” The bigger challenge is “for us advocates to see to it that the version (of the bill) that we like will be the one that will become a law.”

From her end, Naomi Fontanos, executive director of GANDA Filipinas Inc., noted that there are those who say that there are already existing laws that could serve the intent of the SOGIE Equality Bill.

But Fontanos said that “wala pang batas na nagpoprotekta sa mga LGBTQIA Filipinos sa diskriminasyon at karahasan base sa kanilang SOGIESC. Kailangang malinaw na sinasabi ito ng isang batas na hindi tama mag-diskrimina at mag-abuso ng mga Pilipinong LGBTQIA dahil sa kanilang SOGIESC (there is currently no law protecting LGBTQIA Filipinos from discrimination and violence committed against them based on their SOGIESC. This has to be specifically stipulated in a law, that it is not right to discriminate and abuse LGBTQIA Filipinos solely because of their SOGIESC).”

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Sen. Rosa Hontiveros, sponsor of one of the ADBs filed in the Senate now, said that “halos 20 taon na na ang SOGIE Equality Bill ay sinusulong sa Congress (the SOGIE Equality Bill has been getting pushed in Congress for almost 20 years now).”

And yet, she added that even if discriminatory acts reach the hears of politicians, the bill continues not to be a priority.

Hindi puwedeng hanggang pasensiya na lang (It’s not enough for us to say ‘bear with us’ before acting on the SOGIE Equality Bill),” Hontiveros said.

And so “kailangan ipagpatuloy natin ang pagtataguyod para maging isang batas ang SOGIE Equality Bill (we need to continue pushing until the SOGIE Equality Bill finally becomes a law),” Fontanos ended.

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Sen. Pimentel questions need for anti-discrimination bill, pans emphasis on Diez as face of ADB

Senator Aquilino Pimentel III questioned the need to pass the SOGIE Equality Bill, the latest iteration of the anti-discrimination bill in the Senate, particularly if acts of discrimination committed against members of the LGBTQIA community are actually “already covered” under present laws.

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Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III questioned the need to pass the SOGIE (sexual orientation and gender identity and expression) Equality Bill, the latest iteration of the anti-discrimination bill in the Senate, saying that some acts of discrimination committed against members of the LGBTQIA community are actually “already covered” under present laws.

During the August 20 hearing of the Senate committee on women, children, family relations and gender equality, Pimentel expressed the need to specify what the SOGIE Equality Bill will really address.

Ang dapat nating sagutin talaga is, ano ang maitutulong ng SOGIE (Equality) Bill para mawala o ma-address ‘yung mga na-share na karanasan ng discrimination? Kasi marami nang nagsasabi na ang pakiramdam, punishable na rin naman sila ngayon by set of laws (What we need to answer is, how can the SOGIE Equality Bill help to remove or address the experiences of discrimination that were shared? Because some said that it feels like these are punishable by existing set of laws),” Pimentel said.

For instance, some of the discriminatory acts faced by members of the LGBTQIA community may already be covered by Republic Act No. 11313 or the Safe Spaces Act, which prevents various forms of sexual harassment and use of words or gestures that ridicule on the basis of sex, gender, or sexual orientation, among others acts.

Pimentel stressed the need for the identification of discriminatory acts done against LGBTQIA people in the SOGIE Equality Bill, instead of waiting for the implementing rules and regulations t identify the same, as this will avoid confusion.

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Klaruhin natin ‘yan. Otherwise there will be no need for SOGIE bill dahil ang lalabas, may confusion pa (Let’s clarify that. Otherwise there will be no need for a SOGIE Equality Bill as it will just confuse/obfuscate),” Pimentel said.

During the same hearing, Pimentel also panned the use of the case of Gretchen Diez to push for the passage of the ADB.

On August 13, Diez – a trans woman – attempted to use the female toilet of Farmer’s Plaza in Cuba, Quezon City. After an altercation with the janittress manning the facility, she was handcuffed and then detained.

After only being in the limelight following her experience and not because of her involvement in LGBTQIA advocacy, Diez now fashions herself as the “face of the LGBT movement.”

“I don’t think that the case of Gretchen (Diez) is a good example of (a discrimination case against LGBTQIA people) to promote this bill,” Pimentel said, adding that “if you conduct a survey, people will be divided.”

For Pimentel, “there would be discrimination if Gretchen (was not) allowed to use any CR.” But this was not the case, since Diez was allowed to use other toilet facilities – e.g. male toilet, and all-gender PWD toilet. It was Diez who refused to do so.

There is a need for “balancing of interests,” Pimentel stressed, particularly if may “umaangal naman na female (there are women who are complaining)”, referring to those who were assigned female at birth and who may express discomfort sharing toilet facilities with transgender women.

For Sen. Koko Pimentel, “there would be discrimination if Gretchen (was not) allowed to use any CR.” But this was not the case, since Diez was allowed to use other toilet facilities – e.g. male toilet, and all-gender PWD toilet. It was Diez who refused to do so.

Various LGBTQIA activists have repeatedly stressed that the discrimination experienced by members of the LGBTQIA community in the Philippines go beyond the issue raised in the Gretchen Diez debacle.

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Still during the Senate committee hearing, mentioned was a survey conducted by Rainbow Rights Project Inc. (R-Rights) with Metro Manila Pride Inc. from 2017 to 2019, with the results showing that 51% of 400 LGBTQIA community members surveyed claiming that they experienced discrimination in public schools, 31% in the streets, and 28% in private schools.

In the 17th Congress, the House of Representatives passed the SOGIE bill on third and final reading but its counterpart measure languished in the Senate and did not even make it past second reading. Now, in the 18th Congress, three senators filed their own versions of the SOGIE Equality Bill in the Upper House: Sen. Risa Hontiveros, Sen. Imee Marcos and Sen. Francis Pangilinan.

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‘Bato’ dela Rosa backs same-sex marriage; still can’t detach trans people from sexual misconduct in toilets

Neophyte Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa expressed his support for same-sex marriage, even as his supposedly pro-LGBTQIA support is softened by his continuing stance on not allowing people to use toilets based on their gender identity.

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Neophyte Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa expressed his support for same-sex marriage, making his position on the issue known during a Senate hearing on the proposed anti-discrimination bill (ADB).

“I’d like to manifest na ako po (that me), I’m on your side,” dela Rosa said, addressing members of the LGBTQIA community. “Ako nga (Me), I’m advocating, kung pwede magpakasal kayo parehong lalaki, parehong babae, okay lang sa akin, walang problema. Magsama kayo, magpakasal, walang problema sa akin (If two men, two women want to get married, that’s fine by me, that’s not a problem for me. If you want to live together, if you want to marry each other, that’s a non-issue for me).”

Only last May, Dela Rosa said he is still torn on proposals for recognizing same-sex marriage in the country.

But Dela Rosa’s supposedly new pro-LGBTQIA support is softened by his continuing stance on not allowing people to use toilets based on their gender identity. It may be true/documented that there are no recorded cases of any transgender woman harassing another woman inside a toilet, the former head of the Philippine National Police (PNP) raised the possibility of it happening in the future.

“You can’t detach me from my wild imagination being a retired police officer,” Dela Rosa said. “Pag in-allow kasi natin yan… hindi naman kailangang you just consider one portion of the society, kung hindi lahat i-consider mo yung mga maapektuhan na grupo din like yung totoong babae din (If we allow that…. we’d end up just giving in to the needs of one sector of the society, and yet we should also consider the other affected sectors, such as ‘real women’). Are our sisters and daughter safe in those bathroom?”

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By way of explanation, Dela Rosa said he asked his own daughter, and she expressed apprehension sharing toilets with a transgender woman.

To offer clarification, Naomi Fontanos, who helms Gender and Development Advocates (GANDA) Filipinas, said she understands the concern of the senator about sexual violence. But Fontanos stressed that sexual violence can happen anywhere, and “they don’t necessarily have to be in the toilets alone.”

GANDA Filipinas is a human rights organization that promotes the dignity and equality of transgender people in the Philippines and beyond

Fontanos added that there are already existing laws against sexual violence in the Philippines.

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